In its effort to safeguard the welfare of children and the youth, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) developed a project “Keeping a Sexually Abuse Free Environment (SAFE) for Out-of-School Children and Youth (OSCY) Through Protective Behaviour.”
The program aims to decrease the number of cases of abuses and violence, within the family or the community. This is done by strengthening the family and community members’ awareness to prevent possible abuse.
The SAFE project provides sessions on “Usapang Proteksyon,” “Usapang Magulang,” “Usapang Kaibigan,” Usapang Kabataan,” Usapang Kalakasan,” and “Usapang Serbisyo” to raise awareness in the barangays and ensure their readiness to prevent any possible incidences of child abuse.
The SAFE project was pilot tested in eight barangays in Regions III, VII, XII and NCR from 2011 to November 2012. These regions reported a higher number of Out-of-School Children and Youth (OSCY) and Children At-Risk (CAR). A total of 120 children and youth together with their families were chosen as participants in the project and were trained to serve as advocates on protective behaviour sessions in their respective communities.
In 2011, DSWD recorded a total of 5,966 cases of child abuse with 2,131 males and 3,835 females. There was a slight decrease in 2012, with 5,554 reported cases, 1,897 males and 2,005 females. These are the victims served in the centers managed by DSWD and communities.
The reported cases range from rape, incest acts of lasciviousness, prostitution, pornography, and trafficking.
The project is in accordance to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, PD 603 or the “Child and Youth Welfare Code” and Comprehensive Programme on Child Protection (2011-2016) among other national policies and frameworks on child protection. ###