This is the moment for survivors to be heard
Being a survivor is about learning to cope. I am a survivor because I am still here.
In times of adversity, realising we are not alone can be a truly empowering and inspiring thing; and the mere knowledge that there are others who share in our suffering is often quite liberating. It is no wonder, then, that solidarity – in terms of communal struggle and a community of experience or purpose – is usually a catalyst for action. And that is what Ally’s story is about: solidarity for survival. Ally, now a 27-year-old public speaker, activist and…Continue reading Ally’s Story
On November 18th ECPAT International convened the first ever global forum for adult survivors of childhood sexual exploitation. The landmark Global Survivors’ Forum provided a platform and gave a stronger voice to survivors from around the globe. The Forum was held on 18th November to coincide with the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. Survivor advocates and experts from different regions gathered at the Council of Europe for a roundtable discussion. Survivors from…Continue reading
“not speaking was like an emotional cancer…you don’t begin to heal until you disclose.”
Telling the world about a history of sexual abuse is never an easy thing for anyone. Victims are rightly afraid of being judged; of being stigmatised; of having the totality of their existence reduced to the worst experience of their lives. For a child the question often is: “who is going to believe me?” and for the adult, it becomes, “who is going to love me? How will they see me?” And so victims are forced to seek refuge in…Continue reading Matthew’s Story
"Letting go of the pain was not the easiest thing to do, but I knew it was for the best”
A listening ear, compassionate understanding and unconditional acceptance are some of the most invaluable gifts one can offer a person who has suffered extreme violations of their fundamental human rights as sexual abuse and/or exploitation. In fact, the capacity for victims to push onward and perhaps even discover meaning and a renewed purpose for living is sometimes contingent principally on acceptance – acceptance of self and acceptance by others. This idea is best exemplified through the story of Lee, a…Continue reading Lee’s Story
Sophie: “Make the world better for those coming after.”
“Hope is like peace. It is not a gift from God. It is a gift only we can give one another.” These are the words of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Elie Wiesel (recently deceased), a holocaust survivor, professor, activist and author. The words also perfectly illustrate the worldview of Sophie, a 31-year-old feminist, activist and teacher, from Kenya, who came to represent hope for others after a harrowing experience that for a long time kept her imprisoned in despair. At…Continue reading Sophie’s Story
D (15 years old) is a child victim of trafficking from Bogor, Indonesia.
D (15 years old) is a child victim of trafficking from Bogor, Indonesia. One day, a woman from her neighbourhood introduced her to another woman, Wulan. Wulan offered D a job as a waitress in Jakarta, telling her that she would get a high salary. D got permission from her parents to work in Jakarta. Wulan, with help from a couple of other individuals, obtained a false identity card for D, with a fake name, age and address. When D arrived…Continue reading D' Story
“I was exploited in the late 70s-early 80s, but this is still going on. This happens all around the United States.’’
I’m a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation of children. My very first memories are of my exploiter sexually molesting me and raping me. I was exploited from this time up until early adolescence, to support my exploiter’s drug addiction. His primary clientele were truckers. I grew up along a major interstate, and so I could walk down a block from my house and see the major interstate there, and there were truckers all along. I was taken to a truck…Continue reading Kate's Story
Survivors and professionals working with survivors share their experiences of child sexual exploitation online, in travel and tourism and talk about where the demand comes from.
ECPAT Members working with survivors share their experiences and hopes for the future