#WCW – Cassie, a young survivor of cybersex trafficking
If you’re looking for an example of inner strength and beauty, look no further than IJM client and our #WomenCrushWednesday, Cassie*.
Cassie grew up in a poor family from a remote area of the Philippines. As the youngest of twelve, she learned early on how to survive hardship.
But she learned just how resilient she was when she was trafficked online by a “family friend” at the tender age of ten.
When this man came into the life of Cassie and her family, he seemed like a saviour-he door to a bright future filled with hope and opportunity.
He promised Cassie an education, a job, and a better life.
Instead, she endured countless nights of rape in front of a webcam while strangers on a computer screen paid to watch. And it wasn’t just Cassie. The man, A.J., started grooming even younger children, including a 6-year-old boy and 11-month-old baby girl.
“We are six victims inside of the house” Cassie says.
Fortunately, Cassie was not alone. People were looking for her. We were looking for her.
In partnership with local authorities, IJM staff planned multiple operations to rescue Cassie along with several other children, A.J. was abusing.
Cassie was just 16 years old when she was finally set free.
Despite the horrific abuse she endured, she stands as a shining example of the restoration, freedom, and hope available for trafficked women and children everywhere.
“IJM rescued me and transferred me in my second home,” Cassie says with a smile, eager to talk about her “second home,” the beautiful aftercare shelter where she now lives.
She calls the other girls her “second sisters,” and together they love dancing to YouTube choreographers and playing basketball every morning before classes begin.
Adversity didn’t knock her down. Cassie’s experience ignited within her a passion to fight for victims and survivors who share her story. She’s already bravely testified against her abuser in court and fiercely proclaims herself to be a human rights advocate.
This past March, Cassie told her story with her head held high before thousands at IJM’s annual Global Prayer Gathering. With her fist raised in the air, she led the audience in a powerful declaration:
“I will fight human trafficking! I will fight, I will fight I will fight!”
And we will fight with her.
Cassie’s story is not unique. Right now there are still children trapped and abused in the dark world of cybersex trafficking. You can take action and help end it. Join the fight at www.notonmyscreen.ca