Save The Children Philippines is calling on parents and caregivers to help build a safe environment for children amid the spike in cases of violence against children at home.
Lawyer Albert Muyot, CEO of Save The Children Philippines, said in a statement the National Children’s Month celebration in November highlighted the campaign to pass the Positive Discipline bill that eliminates corporal punishment against children.
Three out of five children in the Philippines suffer one or two forms of violence at home and often, parents, siblings, and relatives are the perpetrators, according to the 2015 National Baseline Study on Violence against Children of the Council for the Welfare of Children.
“Parents should realize that children are not their possessions, thus, hitting them is wrong and is never acceptable,” said Muyot.
He said parents are usually outraged when other people hurt their children, but many believe that when they hit their own child, it’s proof that they care for them.
He said physical and verbal punishments on children left lifelong scars.
“Violence begets violence,” said Muyot. “Young children who experience corporal punishment are left with feelings of fear, shame, rage, revenge, and hostility.”
The group joins the 26th year of the National Children’s Month celebration every November with the Council for the Welfare of Children, Department of Social Welfare and Development and National Youth Commission as the lead agencies.
This year’s theme “Isulong: Tamang Pag-aaruga Para Sa Lahat Ng Bata” highlights positive parenting- a non-violent approach to child rearing with focus on respect of the rights of children to live in a healthy and protected environment from infancy to adulthood.
Save the Children Philippines works with DSWD, Education-Network, Local Government Units (LGUs) and civil society organizations on training and capacity building programs that promote Positive Discipline at home and in schools.
“Positive Discipline focuses on open communication with children which guides them to understand that certain behaviors are acceptable but some others are not,” he said.