This email message is from PREDA the charity the Church supports through the Parish Project

The Silence of the Victims
(Fr. Shay’s columns are published in The Manila Times,
in publications in Ireland, the UK, Hong Kong, and on-line.)
http://www.preda.org/main/archives/2010/r10010601.html

This is the story of a Filipino child, Angel-grace, one of many,
representative of millions around the world. I will be frank in
telling her story. My readers will want to know the truth, the whole
truth and nothing but the truth. They will settle for nothing less
difficult as it may be to open the shutters and allow the blinding
light shine in.

When she was five years old, this child was living in a poor family
in Angeles city, two hours North of Manila known for attracting and
encouraging sex tourism, locals and foreigners. As a result, the
moral fabric of society is shredded and in all the other places where
such abuse is tolerated.

The culture of corruption and the sexual exploitation and abuse of
women and children is rampant, ignored, denied and covered up by the
authorities, a source of profit by the business community and
political advantage by the politicians. It is here that such a
degenerate environment fosters alcoholism, drug-abuse, broken homes,
abandoned, unwanted children and fosters the spread of diseases
especially HIV-AIDS.

Angel-grace was raped one night by her step-father, as I said, she
was five years old and it happened again and again. This is not a
rare or shocking event; it is a common crime in every nation around
the world. Mostly it goes unreported because what can a five year-old
do or a child of any age do, to resist, cry out, overcome the fear
planted with threats and intimidation? What can a helpless child do
against a grown man, her own father, a grandfather, a step-father, a
live-partner, or a brother, a pedophile, or a sex tourist?

Nothing! Until one day, she sees a glimmer of hope, learns that there
is someone who cares, someone she can trust and ask for help and who
will respond immediately and know what to do. The Preda Home for
abused children is filled with 56 victims of such abuse at any given
time. They keep on coming, our therapists and counselors keep on
healing and helping them and our legal office keeps on fighting legal
battles that they can hardly ever win. But while there will be
healing there will be a scar, a hurt and a break that can never be
undone. Until justice is done there is never closure, it is a memory
that cannot be forgotten.

The crux of the crime is that the hateful and evil act is done with
the additional abuse of power, position, ascendancy and total absence
of adult responsibility. It is evil to inflict hurt, pain and harm
and exploit the vulnerability and weakness of the helpless child. The
victim is frozen in fear, terror, shock that in most cases in a life
of buried secrets and silence. It is a pain that we can never know
the full extent, only the victims who can hardly bring themselves to
talk about it.
Angel-grace was silent for years but then told her mother who called
her a liar and warned her not to make up such lies her step-father
was the only source of food for the family, she said. She was
burdened with three other children, she would not go up against him.

Angel-grace ran away and lived in the streets and joined other
children with similar stories and they wandered the streets as
beggars, street children, unwanted and rejected. By eleven years old,
she had no education, no self-awareness, saw no value in life, just
lived by an instinct to survive. Soon a female pimp was offering
Angel-grace hamburgers and drinks and money to go with foreign
tourists and massage them. She taught her how and soon the child was into it.

For two years she lived such a life with no thought of an
alternative, this was her life, this was her future, always poor,
always wanting and longing for something she never had – to be loved.
(to be continued)

~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
Contact Fr. Shay Cullen at the Preda Center, Upper Kalaklan, Olongapo
City, Philippines.
e-mail: preda@info.com.ph
~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
PREDA Information Office
PREDA Foundation, Inc.
~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
www.preda.org
This email message is from PREDA the charity the Church supports

The Silence of the Victims
(Fr. Shay’s columns are published in The Manila Times,
in publications in Ireland, the UK, Hong Kong, and on-line.)
http://www.preda.org/main/archives/2010/r10010601.html

This is the story of a Filipino child, Angel-grace, one of many,
representative of millions around the world. I will be frank in
telling her story. My readers will want to know the truth, the whole
truth and nothing but the truth. They will settle for nothing less
difficult as it may be to open the shutters and allow the blinding
light shine in.

When she was five years old, this child was living in a poor family
in Angeles city, two hours North of Manila known for attracting and
encouraging sex tourism, locals and foreigners. As a result, the
moral fabric of society is shredded and in all the other places where
such abuse is tolerated.

The culture of corruption and the sexual exploitation and abuse of
women and children is rampant, ignored, denied and covered up by the
authorities, a source of profit by the business community and
political advantage by the politicians. It is here that such a
degenerate environment fosters alcoholism, drug-abuse, broken homes,
abandoned, unwanted children and fosters the spread of diseases
especially HIV-AIDS.

Angel-grace was raped one night by her step-father, as I said, she
was five years old and it happened again and again. This is not a
rare or shocking event; it is a common crime in every nation around
the world. Mostly it goes unreported because what can a five year-old
do or a child of any age do, to resist, cry out, overcome the fear
planted with threats and intimidation? What can a helpless child do
against a grown man, her own father, a grandfather, a step-father, a
live-partner, or a brother, a pedophile, or a sex tourist?

Nothing! Until one day, she sees a glimmer of hope, learns that there
is someone who cares, someone she can trust and ask for help and who
will respond immediately and know what to do. The Preda Home for
abused children is filled with 56 victims of such abuse at any given
time. They keep on coming, our therapists and counselors keep on
healing and helping them and our legal office keeps on fighting legal
battles that they can hardly ever win. But while there will be
healing there will be a scar, a hurt and a break that can never be
undone. Until justice is done there is never closure, it is a memory
that cannot be forgotten.

The crux of the crime is that the hateful and evil act is done with
the additional abuse of power, position, ascendancy and total absence
of adult responsibility. It is evil to inflict hurt, pain and harm
and exploit the vulnerability and weakness of the helpless child. The
victim is frozen in fear, terror, shock that in most cases in a life
of buried secrets and silence. It is a pain that we can never know
the full extent, only the victims who can hardly bring themselves to
talk about it.
Angel-grace was silent for years but then told her mother who called
her a liar and warned her not to make up such lies her step-father
was the only source of food for the family, she said. She was
burdened with three other children, she would not go up against him.

Angel-grace ran away and lived in the streets and joined other
children with similar stories and they wandered the streets as
beggars, street children, unwanted and rejected. By eleven years old,
she had no education, no self-awareness, saw no value in life, just
lived by an instinct to survive. Soon a female pimp was offering
Angel-grace hamburgers and drinks and money to go with foreign
tourists and massage them. She taught her how and soon the child was into it.

For two years she lived such a life with no thought of an
alternative, this was her life, this was her future, always poor,
always wanting and longing for something she never had – to be loved.
(to be continued)

~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
Contact Fr. Shay Cullen at the Preda Center, Upper Kalaklan, Olongapo
City, Philippines.
e-mail: preda@info.com.ph
~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
PREDA Information Office
PREDA Foundation, Inc.
~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
www.preda.org

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