Three of the girls in our care at the Round Home in the Philippines were sold to men from all over the world…without even being in the same room as them. In fact, these girls never even left the boundaries of their small village in the Philippines. But from inside of what looked like a regular, everyday home, Cate*, Gloria*, and Mae* were sold by their trafficker to men in Australia, the U.S., and the UK.
Their trafficker was a woman in their neighborhood who found that with just a computer, a camera, and a wi-fi signal, she could make easy money.
She would physically abuse and force these children to pose naked and perform sex acts…all in front of a camera. And on the other side of the screen were men willing to pay to indulge their perverse fantasies. And while the children walked away confused, traumatized, and with physical pains, the trafficker walked away with hundreds of dollars sent through money transfers.
This horrifying reality is not uncommon.
When a Dutch children’s charity, Terres des Hommes, set up a fake profile with a computer-animated video of a ten-year-old girl, “Sweetie,” 1,000 men from 70 different countries, over the course of two and half months, offered to pay for her to take off her clothes in front of a camera. The predators intercepted by “Sweetie” were turned over to their local justice systems. So too, the woman who exploited the sweet girls who are now in our Round Home is facing the process of justice.
While the growing problem of children being sold through cyberporn is infuriating and heartbreaking, we work towards solutions knowing that the hope of recovery for victims is a reality.
Cate, Gloria, and Mae, who were once being forced to perform in front of a camera, are now being protected and nourished at the Love146 Round Home. They are enrolled in school and receiving the education they deserve. They are laughing again. They are playing, as children are supposed to—even competing against other girls in the Round Home in friendly swimming contests. They are healing, day by day.
“I like it here in the Round Home because I want to finish my studies. I want to make my dreams come true in order for me to help my family. I want to change through the help of Love146.” – Mae, 13
“I experienced a lot of challenges in my life. At a very young age, my mother and father separated and then I was victimized by other people. But despite everything that had happened to me, I am thankful because I am still alive and breathing.” – Cate, 15