Authorities in Baguio City have launched help hotlines and response teams after it was observed that rates of suicide and rape have shot up in the second year of the pandemic.
According to the city health services office (CHSO), suicide cases committed by people aged 15 to 24 numbered 19 from January to May. Meanwhile, the police revealed that an alarming 15 rape cases occurred in those same months, with most of them happening at home. The latest figure was thrice as high as rape cases recorded in the last year.
The city social welfare office added that in June, abuse cases which included the rape complaints and child abuse numbered 71.
Police Col. Glenn Lonogan said that incidents of child abuse were often committed by male relatives left alone with the children, such as stepfathers and grandfathers. Children below the age of 18 could not leave their homes due to quarantine restrictions. Thus, Lonogan has directed police to coordinate with social and health workers in overseeing child abuse complaints in those areas.
Ricky Ducas, a nurse at the CHSO said that suicide cases seemed to be caused by discomfort and anxiety due to being cooped up at home. Younger victims may have been struggling with disconnection from their peers, according to him.