According to a study released on Tuesday, about 70% of public school children in Grades 4 through 6 and high school, while 40% of public school children in Grades 1 through 3 have become victims of violence.
Verbal, physical and sexual violence were committed to these children, according to the study "Towards A Child-Friendly Education Environment: A Baseline Study on Violence Against Children in Public Schools," which was conducted by the Philippine Women's University's School of Social Work.
Covering three urban areas (Manila, Cebu City, Davao City) and six rural areas (Camotes Islans in Cebu, Capiz, Masbate, Mountain Province, Northern Samar, and Sultan Kudarat), there were 6,931 respondents from Grades 1 to 6 and high school.
The study revealed that verbal abuse is the most common form of violence (shouted at, cursed, ridiculed, teased, humiliated, threatened with violence, delierately ignored or not spoken to).
Threats were commonly experienced by boys while more girls were deliberately ignored.
Physical violence that respondents reported were pinching, things being thrown at them, spanking, hitting with hands or objects, standing under the sun, and being locked in a room or enclosed space.
It was reported that boys experienced more physical violence than girls.
Children who experienced sexual violence came in the form of being spoken to in a sexually offensive manner, inappropriate touching, kissed, and forced sex.
Both genders reported having received sexual advances.
It was further revealed that urban children received more violent treatments than their rural counterparts, and that they suffered more violence from peers than adults.
On the other hand, younger children received physical violence from adults more often.
The study team expressed concern over the results of the study.
The culture of violence should be stopped. They recommended a multi-disciplinary approach on how to deal with the problem such as creation of child-friendly public schools, an effective system to monitor any violation children's rights, creation of public hotlines for immediate reporting and action, public education and awareness campaigns, and empowering Parent-Teachers Association.
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