Hope Within the Dark Corners of the PhilippinesDecember 20th, 2021
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Within the beauty of the Philippine landscape, culture, and people, are corners where brokenness surrounds many children and their families. With 16 percent of the population living below the poverty line, many individuals have been victimized by scams and schemes in which they were lured with promises of financial relief. PJ was one of these victims. Once enslaved in the trade of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), PJ was threatened and made to believe that she was helping her family financially by allowing her body and soul to be abused.
Online sexual exploitation of children is rampant in the Philippines, and livestreaming of sexual abuse is of great value, primarily to predators in Western countries. Because of poverty and the lack of opportunities for proper livelihood and healthier sources of income, some people will even go so far as to become complicit in the physical and sexual abuse of their own family members. Despite being the global epicenter of this crisis, it has proven difficult for Filipinos and government agencies to combat the spread of CSE (Child Sexual Exploitation), due to a lack of adequate funding and other resources.
PJ was eventually rescued by a joint operation of law enforcement and nonprofit agencies that freed her from her abusers, two of which were her friend and half-sister who had sold her to foreigners. Despite receiving therapy and appropriate care through World Hope International, she struggled for some time with trauma-induced guilt and anger.
Thankfully, through the help of our partners on the ground and the supernatural healing only the Lord can provide, PJ has slowly, but surely, learned how to cope with the pain that has been dealt to her. She has been granted a safe space where she can process and articulate her emotions, and where she can hope for a better future in the company of people who truly care about her welfare—physically, mentally, socially, and most importantly, spiritually. She no longer lives in fear and guilt but is moving forward with joy and peace.
Will you join us in defending these children, their rights, especially the right to a future of hope, joy, and peace for themselves and their families? There are many children like PJ who are still enslaved in this brutal and dark trade, many who are struggling to cope and recover after their rescue, and many more who are vulnerable to the schemes of those wanting to take advantage of them. With the Philippines having experienced some of the longest and strictest lockdown protocols in the world because of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of young children are at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) within their own homes this very minute.
But you can be part of the solution. Become a Defender today and join us in bringing hope to the dark corners of not only the Philippines, but of the entire globe.