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Joy's Story

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Joy's Story

At just 10 years old Joy* became a victim of Online Sexual Exploitation of Children – the live-streamed sexual abuse of children facilitated by the internet.

We can end this growing, global crime for good. As a fallout of COVID-19, children are in greater need of urgent protection.

You matter. Your support helps protect children in desperate need today.

W

hen Joy* was eight, her parents separated and she began staying with relatives and neighbours. She babysat, did laundry, cleaned floors—whatever she was asked. During this time, she prayed a simple prayer: to reunite her family and finish her education.

As Joy recalls her life passed from home to home, she says she felt “like a dog… I lived wherever I can possibly stay—with my relatives that will accept me.”

A woman she trusted invited Joy and her friends into her home, but something felt wrong.

In her own words, Joy explains what happened next:

“Without knowing what to do while we were inside, I was surprised when she asked us to go naked, and then she said she will take pictures of us together. I was so scared, nervous and confused. I didn’t know what to do. But since we were already inside [her] house, we were left with no choice but to follow her instructions.”


The horror of online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) is all too real for Joy and thousands of other girls and boys in the Philippines. For a quick profit, people facilitate the sexual abuse of children and stream it over the internet for Western sex offenders to watch.

This is a brutal form of violence and exploitation, but with your help, it can be stopped.

Bring young children out of the terror of online sexual exploitation.

Joy was 10 years old when her abuse began. Then she turned 11. Then 12. And 13. And 14.

At first, Joy didn’t fully understand what was happening to her. But as she grew older, the horrible reality dawned on her.

The girl who prayed every night to reunite her family and finish her education says, “I wondered if a brighter future was possible for me.”

Seven years after Joy was first exploited, IJM learned of her abuse and partnered with police to find Joy, bring her to safety and arrest the woman she called her “Boss.”

It was one of the first online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) operations IJM was able to support, and with your help, Joy and 15 other children were brought into freedom.

Joy was 17 years old when she arrived at the shelter. She was brought there with the other children who were victims of online sexual exploitation, and IJM social workers met her, explaining that she was now free from exploitation and abuse.

Without your generosity, operations to find children like Joy and arrest her abuser might not happen at all.

Your gifts help fight online sexual exploitation of children.

Even though Joy was safe from the reach of her “Boss,” and even though she was no longer being exploited online, she still had a long road of healing and counselling ahead of her.

As she grew accustomed to living in a shelter with people who cared for her physical and emotional needs, the dreams of finishing school came back.

Today, she is in school and inspiring other survivors to pursue their dreams. In the summer of 2018, she interned at a government shelter, mentoring children and young adults who have experienced similar abuses.

Js 20180617 037349 201806Ceb Joy

“I am inspired by the social workers who don’t stop helping survivors like me. I too have a passion to help survivors see that there is hope after rescue, and that there are people who can help us if we let them.”

Her brave spirit is taking her places she never imagined she would go. After speaking at an event here in the United Kingdom, she closed with these words:

“We need you. Help us be encouraged, show us that we are important and that we can have freedom to live our dreams.

I am standing before you today, sharing my story, because I believe children are the future. I want every bad “Boss” to stop abusing children. Slavery is happening all around the world. I want it to stop. I believe it can stop, but I cannot do it alone.”

Stand with Joy and help end slavery and violence with a gift today.

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Help bring children like Aaron* to safety now from online sexual exploitation. Donate now.

You Can Help Send Rescue Today.

When you give a gift today, you’ll be fighting slavery, violence, and injustice across the globe. Together, we can end slavery and violence in our lifetime.

You can make the most impact as a Freedom Partner today.

Your generous monthly support will help send rescue to vulnerable children and families at a moment’s notice, stand with them as they rebuild their lives in freedom and have perpetrators held accountable.

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