How to Report Child Abuse in the Philippines

Child abuse is one of the areas the Department of Social Welfare and Development addresses through their various services and programs. Under the DSWD’s Child Protective Services and Therapy Services for Abused Children, minors experiencing all kinds of abuse can receive help and support from the government.

Also Read: What is DSWD Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC)?

However, one of the challenges for victims or even concerned people is reporting cases of abuse. How exactly can someone do this? When reporting child abuse, are there any things you should remember? Here’s everything you need to know about reporting child abuse to DSWD.

guide to reporting child abuse philippines child protection program

Child Abuse in the Philippines

Despite the increasing number of people becoming aware of children’s rights, there are still child abuse cases in various countries. In the Philippines, for instance, the number of cases of child abuse reported by the DSWD in the first quarter of 2016 reached 2,147. Out of these, 539 were categorized as sexual abuse. Other types of complaints included neglect, which had a total of 506 cases, and abandonment, which had a total of 487 cases. Trafficking was also prevalent, with a total of 231 cases.

Due to the alarming number of abuse reported on social media cases, various agencies, such as the DSWD, were able to respond to these cases.

In addition to using social media, the DSWD also urged the public to step up their efforts in reporting instances of child abuse.

Different Types of Child Abuse

One of the most hideous acts that can be carried out against a child is child abuse, and it often affects the child’s future. This is a prevalent problem that people have failed to recognize. Various types of child abuse can be carried out.

The act or inaction of failing to do something to a child under the age of 16 could be considered child abuse. It could cause immediate harm to the child or leave a lasting impression on them. The term abuse refers to the intentional or negligent maltreatment of a child, and it can sometimes lead to fatal consequences.

Various countries have enacted laws aimed at fighting child abuse. It is a serious offense that involves the sexual, physical, or mental mistreatment of a child. Other forms of child abuse include leaving a kid in a state of neglect and abandonment.

The abuse can be carried out in various ways, and it can happen in places where children interact with others. It can cause long-lasting wounds on the child’s body and mind.

And to further distinguish the difference between physical, mental, and sexual abuse, we must first understand what each means.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is a type of punishment that a child can receive from either their parents, teachers, or other individuals in order to teach them a lesson. This type of abuse usually takes place in the hopes that it will help the child behave properly. Unfortunately, most parents and teachers do not realize that it is a criminal offense and that it could have long-term consequences.

On the other hand, intentional abuse is carried out against a child in order to cause him harm. Even though cases of this type of abuse have been reported in the past, it is still hard to protect children from these types of pedopaths. Some of the signs that a child might be abused are the presence of bruises and cuts on his body, as well as being over-sensitive to minor injuries.

Mental Abuse

This type of abuse is referred to as emotional or psychological abuse. It can cause long-term harm to a child’s psyche. This type of abuse can severely affect a child’s development. It can also prevent them from properly participating in social activities.

The effects of psychological abuse can also be severe. It can lead to a child’s loss of confidence and a rise of a pessimistic outlook. Some cases of abuse show signs of extreme psychological conditions. For instance, a child may become too passive or aggressive.

Various forms of mental abuse can be carried out against a child. They can include humiliating him in front of others, comparing him to other people, not talking to him, and exposing him to animal or other cruelty. They can also happen at home or school.

Some parents who are too protective of their children may abuse them in the course of discipline. The stress or tension that they are going through may cause the parents to mistreat their kids. Mental abuse against children is not intentional. It can happen due to certain circumstances, such as the presence of an accomplice who unknowingly harms a child.

Sexual Abuse

This is when an older individual uses a child’s body for their sexual gratification. Cases of this type of abuse are reported all around the world, and the incidents are increasing at an alarming rate. Some of the acts that can be considered sexual abuse include forcing a child into sexual activity, indecent exposure of a child, and exposure or the use of them for pornography.

One of the most common types of child sexual abuse is rape. This type of abuse can cause severe physical and psychological harm to a child. It can also lead to various medical conditions, such as an underdeveloped brain and multiple internal organs damage.

The psychological effects of this type of abuse can be severe, and it can lead to a child’s loss of confidence and a rise of a pessimistic outlook. It can also cause him to develop depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, many cases of this type of abuse are not reported to the authorities. Many children who have experienced this trauma are afraid to tell their parents or other relatives.

Being able to talk about this type of abuse is very important for parents to their children. It allows them to understand what their kids are going through and prevent them from experiencing it in the future.

Child Neglect

Child neglect is a type of abuse that occurs when a parent or guardian fails to provide a child with the basic needs such as food, shelter, and hygiene. It can be caused by a variety of reasons. It can also happen due to a mental or physical condition that prevents the parent or guardian from properly caring for the child.

This type of abuse can also occur in cases where the parents are suffering from drug or alcohol addiction. Their addiction prevents them from looking after their kids.

Another common cause of child neglect is apathy or lack of concern. In many cases, poverty is the reason for the failure of parents to provide their kids with the basic needs. Neglect can also lead to emotional and physical issues. One of the most common signs of this type of abuse is the child’s bloated or skinny appearance. He may have other medical conditions such as asthma or allergies.

The psychological effects of neglect can be severe, and it can lead to various mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. The effects can also depend on the degree of the neglect that the child experienced during his childhood.

Substance Abuse

One of the most common types of child abuse is substance abuse. This type of abuse involves exposing a child to harmful substances, such as drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. It can cause the child to develop an addiction to these harmful substances, which can harm his health in the long run.

When children are exposed to substance abuse at a young age, they may develop an addiction to these harmful substances, which can lead to them becoming drug addicts or hardcore alcoholics. This type of abuse has serious legal consequences and is regarded as one of the most common types of child abuse in the country.

Child Exploitation

Exploitation is a type of criminal activity that occurs in different countries. It involves recruiting children to perform various tasks, such as performing manual labor, and in some cases, engaging in prostitution. These acts are considered to be morally and socially evil.

Exploitation can make people turn into child exploiters or anti-social elements. It’s important to remember that kids need to develop their own sense of self-esteem and study at an early age. Unfortunately, being exploited can make them susceptible to harsh situations, which can have a lasting impact on their lives.

Societal Impact

Due to the technological advancements that have occurred over the past few years, the Internet has become an incredibly easy and accessible platform for people to share their personal information. It’s also very hard to monitor the activities of individuals who are abusing children online. Some of the types of abuse that are commonly carried out on the Internet include online bullying and child pornography.

Despite the various laws that have been enacted to prevent the exploitation of children online, the Internet is still a huge world. It’s important that parents and schools monitor the activities of individuals who are abusing children.


The best way to prevent child abuse is to be aware of the signs and take action if you suspect a child is being abused. If you know or suspect a child is being abused, you should report it to the authorities immediately. In addition, parents should be educated about the signs of child abuse and how to prevent it. Finally, communities should work together to create safe environments for children and provide resources for victims of child abuse.

The DSWD’s Role in Protecting Children

The DSWD is a government agency that protects the rights of Filipinos. It is responsible for the welfare of children.

Aside from providing emergency relief, the DSWD also offers various other services to children in need, such as adoption, rehabilitation, and foster care. In recent years, the agency has been working to expand its services by partnering with other organizations and government agencies.

Aside from helping underprivileged kids, the agency also offers social protection services to children who are victims of abuse and neglect.

To prevent these types of exploitation and abuse from happening in the first place, the agency has programs and policies in place. It also provides essential services such as education, housing, and healthcare to children in the Philippines.

DSWD’s role in child protection is twofold: providing immediate assistance to those who have been abused, and implementing long-term solutions to prevent such exploitation from happening in the first place.

Penalties for Child Abuse in the Philippines

  • If a person is caught with a child under 12 years old or an older individual 10 years or younger than them in a private or public setting, they could face up to 20 years in jail and a fine of up to P500,000.
  • If they force a child to perform begging on the streets, they could face up to 20 years in prison. They could also be involved in the drug trade or other illicit activities.
  • If caught engaging in child labor, the offender could face up to six years in prison, as well as a fine of up to P400,000.
  • If they are caught making pornography shows or publications against a child under 12 years old, they could face up to life in prison. Doing so against a child 12 years old and above would result in a sentence of up to 20 years.
  • If a guardian allows their child to participate in an offensive act, that individual could be imprisoned for up to 20 years.
  • If a person is caught abusing or exploiting a child, they could face up to 20 years in prison. This type of punishment applies to all types of situations that are considered prejudicial to the child’s development.
  • A business owner who allows adults to bring minors into their establishment faces up to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to P500,000. They could also lose their license.
  • If a person is caught forcing a child to perform dangerous tasks, they could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to P1 million.
  • In 2012, a law was passed that made it a crime to traffic in persons, and it provides various punishments. These include up to six years in prison for those who exploit or abuse children, and up to P100,000 for discriminating against indigenous people.
  • If a person is caught offering or forcing a child to be their companion, they could face up to six to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to P500,000. If the offender is the child’s caretaker, stepparent, or ascendant, they could get up to 20 years in jail. Parents who are found guilty could also lose their custody.

How to Report Child Abuse to DSWD

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that about one in five children in the country is a victim of child abuse. This abuse can come in various forms, such as sexual, emotional, and physical. Unfortunately, many child abuse cases are not reported due to the lack of awareness about how to report it.

If you witness child abuse, immediately remove the child from the situation. This will allow you to gather important information about the incident, such as the identities of the involved parties and any injuries the child sustained. You should also make a note of any witnesses to the incident and any other relevant details.

Once you have this information, contact the Child Health and Intervention and Protective Service, also known as the DSWD hotline number: 734-4216.

In your report, be prepared to provide as much information as possible regarding the suspected abuser and the damaged kid. Names, residences, dates of birth, and other identifiers are included. If you choose not to press charges against the abuser, your identity will be kept private.

Other Channels to Report Child Abuse

  • The National Bureau of Investigation’s Anti-Child Abuse, Discrimination, and Exploitation Division (ACADED) can be reached at (512) 608-8231, extension 403 and (444).
  • Telephone: 927-4033 Commission on Human Rights Child Rights Center
  • Contact the nearest police station or the Philippine National Police Operation Center at (712) 8613, (722) 0540, or (724) 8749.
  • Call the nearest Provincial, City, or Regional Prosecutor at (523-8481-89), or contact the DOJ Task Force on Child Protection.
  • Council for the Protection of Children in the Local Barangay.

You will be asked to provide your personal information, such as your name, address, and details about the incident you witnessed. The DSWD then opens an investigation and provides the necessary services to the family. These include legal assistance, counseling, and temporary shelter.

It can be challenging to report child abuse, but it’s also important to remember that there are people ready to help. The DSWD has trained professionals ready to assist both the victim and the suspect.

Video: DSWD to Prioritize Child Abuse Cases in the Philippines

This YouTube video is a report on how the Department of Social Welfare (DSWD) prioritizes child abuse reports in the Philippines. It highlights the DSWD’s efforts to protect children from abuse and exploitation, including legal assistance and counseling services.

It also depicts some of the efforts taken by the DSWD to support victims of child abuse, such as constructing facilities for them to seek care and providing financial assistance to families affected by it.

Also Read: DSWD Bahay Tuluyan ng mga Bata: Safe House for Children Victims

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What happens after I make a report?

The DSWD will investigate your report and provide the necessary services to the family. These include shelter, legal aid, counseling, and medical assistance. In some cases, the abuser may also be charged with a crime.

2. Do I need to share my identity when making a report of child abuse?

Your identity can be kept anonymous unless you decide to press charges against the perpetrator. However, it is important to provide as much information as possible to the authorities so that they can properly investigate the situation.

3. What kind of services does DSWD provide?

DSWD offers a variety of services, including legal assistance, counseling, and temporary shelter. The organization also provides financial help to families affected by child abuse, and it may bring criminal charges against the abuser.

4. What should I do if I witness a case of child abuse?

It is important that you immediately report a case of child abuse. This can be done by calling the DSWD hotline or reporting it to the nearest police station. You can also send in information about the abuser to other authorities.

5. Are there support services available for victims and their families?

The DSWD provides various support services to domestic violence victims and their families, including financial assistance, counseling, legal aid, and temporary shelter. In some cases, the abuser may be charged with a crime. Victims and their families should seek help to cope with their experiences.

The DSWD is dedicated to protecting children in the Philippines from abuse and exploitation. Being able to report child abuse is both incredibly brave and very important. It can help save a child’s life. If you have seen or suspect that a child is being abused, please contact the authorities immediately.

6. How can I help prevent child abuse from happening?

There are various ways to prevent child abuse. One of these is by being aware of the signs of abuse, as well as being able to advocate for stronger legislation that would protect kids. Talking to your children about their safety and boundaries can also help prevent abuse.

If you witness or suspect that a child is being abused, please contact law enforcers immediately. Doing so can help create a society where no child will ever suffer in silence. This is why it’s important that all children have access to proper and loving environments.


If you have a suspicion that a child is being abused, it is important that you immediately report it to the authorities so that they can help them get the help they need. To do so, you can call the DSWD hotline or go to their website.

Being aware of the signs of abuse can help you spot it in the case that someone you know is being abused. In addition, you can also help prevent abuse by talking to other people about healthy relationships and safety. Finally, if you suspect that a loved one is being abused, you should contact the authorities so that they can provide support and investigate.

Let’s strive to ensure that our children are safe and happy in our country, and one way of doing so is by protecting them from abuse. Through the efforts of the DSWD and other government agencies, we can help ensure that children are protected from abuse. Let us not forget that they are our future and the hope of this nation!