Reporting Abuse Should be as Common as Making a Call

by Fr. Shay Cullen

| Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash

Many readers of this article are good people with a heart for child victims and want to help children report abuse and ask how they can help. Knowing the signs is important. It is everybody’s task to be sensitive and alert, suspicious and concerned when a child is morose, depressed, sad, silent, and angry, and makes sexually suggestive behavior like lifting her skirt or lowering her shorts. The child is trying to send a message. If the child has pain or discharge from her private parts, an immediate medical check-up is essential.

Society has to wake up and accept the horrific truth that much of human nature is corrupt. One in every four children is a victim of sexual abuse. Every five minutes, one is abused, and most incidents go unreported and acted upon. So there are many in need of help. Children will tell a close friend first.

You don’t need to be a psychologist to help a child victim. You only need to be a friend, listen with understanding, and be a perfect human. Just show friendship and encourage the child to be open and trusting and tell if anything bad happened. If yes, then give support and understanding, report it to the authorities for investigation and action, and assist the child in getting therapy, protection, and legal help. The child will be fearful of disclosing abuse. Child abuse is almost as frequent as sending a text. Reporting child abuse should be as frequent as making a phone call.

All good people wish to push back against these crimes and do more to help rescue the children from abusers and traffickers and bring the suspects to trial and convict them. That is happening but not frequently enough. At the Preda Foundation, there are approximately 15 convictions every year of traffickers and abusers. It is a very secret crime, and fear and terror are used against the children to stay silent. Child sex terrorists are everywhere, secretly abusing even their own children and getting away with it. Fathers, uncles, brothers, clergy, grandparents, neighbors, traffickers, pimps, and sex tourists. Good police and NGOs are fighting back and bringing abusers to justice.

” … give support and understanding, report it to the authorities for investigation and action, and assist the child in getting therapy, protection, and legal help. The child will be fearful of disclosing abuse. Child abuse is almost as frequent as sending a text. Reporting child abuse should be as frequent as making a phone call.”

Angelica (not her real name) is a 13-year-old child from a town in Zambales. She was sexually assaulted one night when she was alone in a small shack in the Philippine rural countryside. Two grown men burst into the remote shack, grabbed and abducted her. They dragged her out and brought her to a grassy field, and there brutally and without shame or mercy, raped the 13-year old. They then covered her with a coat and moved her to another place to kill her, perhaps to silence her forever. When they passed near the village, by pure chance, the wife of one of the abusers was out looking for him and saw them with the child. She challenged the men, and an argument broke out, and Angelica, traumatized as she was, broke away and ran for her life. She knew they were likely to kill her to cover up their horrific crime with murder.

Angelica ran back to her home in a little shack, and her elder brother was there, and she bravely reported all that happened. Immediately, they went to the police and described the suspects, who were neighbors and apparently known to Angelica’s brother. The police responded immediately, and they caught and arrested the two suspects and jailed them according to the rule on the inquest.

Angelica was taken into the care of the municipal social worker and was clearly traumatized. Angelica and her brother received threats, and Angelica was referred to the Preda home for abused children. She is now safe and able to share her story freely and is receiving support, affirmation, and healing in a caring family environment. She has emotional release therapy to get out all the buried pain and hurt and anger at her abusers and be free of them. She will become self-confident, mature, and empowered and will surely testify to the truth of what happened to her with confidence and clarity. She is getting all the help she needs to study and make a new life for herself.

Melba is a 14-year-old girl that was trafficked by two sisters who were traffickers and preyed on young girls and lured and entrapped them into a life of sexual commercial exploitation. They searched on Facebook for sex tourists residing in the Philippines, offered them, young teenagers for sex, and arrange for them to meet, and they earned big money for themselves. Their victims got a pittance.

Melba was one of them. Like many other trafficked teenage girls, she was vulnerable from a broken home, had little education, and was dependent on the traffickers for survival. She was offered online to a wealthy American national. They met, and the traffickers took the money and gave him 14-year-old Melba to sexually abuse. They gave him other victims to abuse in sex hotels in Olongapo City and in Subic town that are under the eyes of the authorities. He returned to Angeles City, where he had his residence in Clarkview. Meanwhile, Melba and his victims were rescued from other sex tourists, and the traffickers arrested. The children were referred to the Preda Home to be safe and recover. They were empowered and testified against the three human traffickers that were detained.

Melba told her Preda counselor and social worker about her foreign abuser, who had abused many other children also. Preda assisted them in filing charges against him, and it was elevated to the court by the Olongapo City Prosecutor. Judge Gemma Theresa B. Hilario-Logronio of the Olongapo City Family Court Branch 12 issued an arrest warrant against the suspect, 61-year old US citizen Nicholas Gabriel Pyant. Preda immediately began searching for his whereabouts and finally got his address in Angeles City and passed it to the authorities.

There is the satisfaction that justice was done and will be done for the many victims who can live a happier life, free from exploitation and abuse. We must do all we can to help report abuse in strict confidence …”

On 27 July 2021, Nichola Gabriel Pyant was arrested in Angeles City by police officers under the command of Police Colonel Rommel S. Batangan for the abuse of Melba and three other minors for multiple acts of abuse and trafficking of minors.

Several child victims of Pyant are in the care and custody of the Preda Foundation, happily recovered and preparing for a new life, and ready and willing to testify against their alleged, suspected serial abuser and bring him to justice. They previously testified against their three female traffickers who sold them like animals to sex tourists and allegedly to Pyant.

There is the satisfaction that justice was done and will be done for the many victims who can live a happier life, free from exploitation and abuse. We must do all we can to help report abuse in strict confidence to Preda Foundation 09175324453 or predainfo@gmail.com.

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