Cassie* was 12 when a family friend lured her to Manila. “He told me that he can help me to reach all of my dreams,” she remembers, and at first she enjoyed the big city and nice clothes. Then the abuse began.
“I was thinking, ‘I want to die. I want to die because of this pain, but I can’t,’” Cassie says. “He hurt me every day. It felt very lonely for me because I was very far from my family and I couldn’t tell them what happened to me because I was very scared.”
Online sexual exploitation of children was a problem long before the pandemic, but it grew exponentially during the lockdown era when online use skyrocketed. Rescue can’t come soon enough for the little ones trapped by this horrifying crime. And you can send that rescue today.
Because online sexual exploitation takes place behind closed doors, children like Cassie are often hidden. But when you support IJM’s rescue efforts, you show that you’re determined to help find them and pursue justice for their suffering.
After IJM heard about the house where Cassie was held, the generosity of people like you meant we could coordinate with local authorities to set Cassie and five other children free. After nearly five years of abuse, Cassie was placed in a safe, professional aftercare home.
“When they rescued us, it made me heal all the pain,” Cassie explains. “In [the aftercare home] I realize everything, that you don’t have to lose hope. If I see or if I hear there is a victim of human trafficking like us, I just want to comfort her, help her to move forward and just fight for your rights, because that’s where I stand now.”
As you support IJM, you help get children like Cassie out of abusive situations and go on to help others. Today, Cassie raises awareness about trafficking in schools in the Philippines and was even a featured speaker at a large women’s conference in the United States! You help send rescue to children suffering from everyday violence and move us closer, day by day, to our mission of protecting half a billion people by 2030.
Please make 2022 a year of freedom by making a gift today!