Rape is arguably the worst crime a person can do to another, regardless of gender. It can even be worse than murder– every moment a rape victim lives is psychological and social torture. What more if the victim was a child in the Philippines?
One of the worst countries to be a pubescent child in right now is actually Philippines. Mostly known as a country in Southeast Asia home to the prettiest tropical wonders and some impressive welterweight boxers. However, right now, one person is raped per hour in the said third world country. A lot of these victims are also below the age of 18. In a lot of other countries, this would be considered child rape or statutory rape. However, in the Philippines, it is only rape, which has a relatively lighter punishment than statutory rape.
So, it really is a bad time to be below 13-years-old or above in the Philippines right now. Most of the other Southeast Asian countries start statutory rape punishment for criminals whose victims are at the age of 16 or below, meaning heavier rape punishment is dealt for rapists who victimize 16-year-old children or younger. However, in the Philippines, statutory rape starts at 12-years-old, so children aged 13 or above are only under the protection of the regular rape law. This also means that the age of sexual consent in the country starts at an inhumane 12-years-old.
Those aged 12 and above will have to suffer the fact that their rapists are only getting punished for regular rape or might not even be punished at all. Because, after all, the age of sexual consent is at a measly 12-years-old, that is a big loophole for rapists and pedophiles alike. Needless, to say, the country has also ranked in as the number one global source of child pornography back in 2016.
Something definitely has to be done for the pubescent minors of the country, thankfully petitions such as these are available. Courtesy of The Child Rights Network and other organizations like UNICEF, they aim to raise the age of sexual consent in the Philippines, therefore raising the age protection for statutory rape. Essentially, this means younger teens will be protected by the statutory rape laws. As always, solidarity is key in making our children’s futures safer, more is needed to be done about rape in the Philippines, however, not just for the minors.