SURVIVORS of child sexual abuse and exploitation launched the Philippine Survivor Network (PSN) on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, as they stepped up to lead a movement to protect vulnerable people through a robust Philippine justice system.
The PSN provides opportunities for members, who are at least 15 years old, to develop their leadership abilities and to actively participate in decision-making that impacts survivors and future generations. Its members -- currently at 81 -- are survivors of child sexual abuse, commercial sexual exploitation, and online sexual exploitation of children.
“The PSN aims to contribute to creating safer communities in the Philippines, in which vulnerable people are protected from all types of violence, the survivors are sustainably restored, and the justice system listens and works together with survivors. We are excited to embark on this journey and look forward to collaborating with government and non-government partners to achieve this goal,” said Monica Renomeron, PSN chairperson.
An initiative of International Justice Mission (IJM), the PSN works to ensure that solutions against online sexual exploitation of children are informed by the real-life experiences of survivors.
“IJM recognizes that survivors will become catalytic leaders in the movement to protect children. They have unique and powerful experiences and expertise to share, including insight into the nature of exploitation, the factors that allow it to flourish, the perpetrators who profit from it, and the solutions that can stop it,” said lawyer Samson Inocencio Jr., vice president and national director of IJM Program Against Online Sexual Exploitation of Children.
The PSN is a local chapter of the Global Survivor Network (GSN), an international group of survivors leading a global movement to protect communities around the world from violence. Through the GSN, survivors of violence from around the world are advocating for change in their communities and speaking out as leaders.
In the Philippines, IJM has supported authorities in rescuing more than 1,000 survivors of online child sexual exploitation, with operations dating back to 2011.
Before transitioning its program to combating online sexual exploitation of children in 2016, IJM Philippines worked to combat the sex trafficking of children in bars and brothels, leading to dramatic decreases in the crime’s prevalence in the cities where it partnered with local authorities. (PR)