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RISE, RAISE, RAGE: Rhythm and Dance Against Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns and Children’s Rehabilitation Center led an activity dubbed as RISE, RAISE, RAGE: Rhythm and Dance Against Sexual Abuse and Exploitation at the Quezon City Hall Grounds, Metro Manila last February 6.

The activity was intended to highlight the issues and demands of Filipino children in the country- particularly to raise the awareness of the public and escalate the campaign against the increasing number of cases of violence against women and children in commemoration of the National Awareness Week for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation. It was also in preparation for the One Billion Rising (OBR) which is being celebrated every February 14. OBR is a worldwide call to the women who survived violence, together with those who support the same advocacy, songs, spoken poetry, and testimonies.

The activity was participated in by hundreds of women and children along with different child rights groups and advocates including Batibot Early Learning Center, Parents’ Alternative on Early Chidhood Care and Development Inc. (PAECCDI), Association of Children in Southeast Asia (ARCSEA), Child Hope Asia Philippines, Human Life Advancement Foundation (HLAF) and ECPAT-Philippines. The council of Barangay Industrial Valley Complex (IVC) in Marikina also joined the event.

The children from Batibot Early Learning Center danced to the song “Bangon Na Sa Rebolusyon” led by their teachers and supportive parents while the children of Childhope Asia Philippines performed a short skit depicting the ill-fated condition of children who suffer from prostitution, rape and other sexual violence. Princess Nicole Fabila, who was recently crowned as Gabriela’s Amazing Pinay of Quezon City, together with two rappers, performed their original song that tells about minors victimized by rape-slay crime.

During the program, SALINLAHI cited the data released by Center for Women’s Resources (CWR) that ‘a woman experiences domestic violence every 16 minutes while rape occurs every 53 minutes,’ adding that 75% of rape victims are children.

‘Since 2000, there were around 100,000 prostituted Filipino children. This figure hasn’t changed much under the Aquino administration. The number of children caught in cyber pornography even increased by 56% from 2014 to 2015 alone, based on the data of the Philippine National Police- Anti Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG),’ said SALINLAHI Secretary General Kharlo Manano.

At the same time, Manano scored state authorities who have become sex offenders themselves, noting that there are already 7 girl victims of rape and sexual assault by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from July 2010 to December 2015.

To end the activity, all the participants and volunteers danced “Bangon na sa Rebolusyon” as a way to express outrage over government’s failure to create measures to prevent child abuse and sexual exploitation, coupled by the reign of the culture of impunity which embolden abusers and sex predators to perpetrate more crimes against children.

 

The groups also joined the One Billion Rising main event which was held at the Luneta Park, Manila City last February 14.