Rape with Consent: The Voice of a Forced Sex Laborer

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Earlier this month, PhilippineOne had the privilege to talk a 12-year-old rape survivor, Aislee. In a brief amount of time, Aislee was able to narrate her traumatic experience and shared her triumph. She was sexually abused by her uncle for four years. She kept her rape experience to herself as a child as her uncle threatened to kill her and her family if she said anything.

Aislee’s experience was an eye opener. Despite the fact that the government has been doing whatever they can to decrease rape incidences in the Philippines, several cases are still unreported. Aiselee’s was able to fully recover with the help of the NGO women’s rehabilitation center. We paid another and met another survivor, who is still trying to recover from her dark past.

Outgoing, bubbly and helpful, is how most people would describe her, Senya is a 27-year-old resident of the women’s shelter. She was introduced to us by Manang Inday, one of the care takers of the facilities. Senya joined the center just last month, and her story is definitely heart breaking.

I was a bit hesitant to approach Senya, though she greeted me with a comforting smile. I was worried that I might ask the wrong questions and trigger her past trauma’s. I may be a BS Psychology graduate, but hearing the Rehab Center stories is always disturbing.  As I approached her (she was handwashing her clothes in the laundry area at that time) Senya invited me to sit down and we started to build a connection.

She made me feel comfortable and after asking about her day, she gladly began speaking. A few minutes into our conversation, Senya asked if she could share something personal, and of course, I said yes. She tried to hold back tears but they started to well in the side of her eyes.

Lured and Sold as Sex Laborer

“I was 18 at that time, and I already started my period. My mother told me that she could no longer afford to send me to school, so I only finished my first year of college. She told me to go with a family friend to Manila so that I can work and study at the same time. I loved the idea as I’d finally be able to get a chance to go to college. I went with my tita with the hopes of being able to provide for my family and help my siblings.

When she mentioned that she was asked to go to Manila with her aunt, I was expecting her to say that she would be someone’s household help, but I was wrong. Senya, may have been bubbly five minutes ago but she now fought hard to hide her dark and gruesome past.

“When we arrived in Manila, I was overwhelmed with what I was seeing. Everything was new to me, and the buildings were so tall. I actually thought that I’d be helping my tita with her small business as she sells vegetables, but sadly, I ended up on a different path. She took me to Quiapo at around five in the afternoon. She told me that she’d pick me up after a couple of hours; I started feeling nervous, but I trusted my aunt. That trust disappeared when I found out that she had sold me as a sex worker.”

Senya started crying, and all that I could do was listen. I let her vent her anger and after bringing her some water she regained her composure. She took a sip of water and shrugged off her emotive bout before talking again.

“He didn’t tell me his name and we checked into a hotel right away. The rooms were beautiful, but I was very nervous and started crying. I told him that I didn’t want to continue but he forced himself in me. I pleaded with him to not touch me but he got angry and forced harder. I wanted to run but didn’t know where I was so I stopped fighting and gave in, hoping the man would be finished quickly. The sex was very painful and although I continued to cry, he never felt sorry for me and seem to enjoy my despair.  After raping me, he returned me to our meeting place where my aunt was waiting.

Senya added that when called her mother the next day her mom already knew that she would be sold as a sex worker; “she was young and men prefer young girls”. Her mother pleaded with Senya to endure the occupation of sex worker as the pay was good.  She should think of her family. From that point on, Senya never considered that first experience as rape because her mother and family framed her to be a prostitute.

Sex Trafficking in the Philippines

Sex trade isn’t taboo in the Philippines as its been around since the inception of this country. Despite the government’s efforts to end the ongoing problem, there are still recruiters that sell both women and children.

In a report released by the International Labor Organization, 60,000 to 100,000 women and Filipino children are trafficked each year. Though 1,1693 cases of human trafficking were officially recorded from 2005 to 2012, only 212 traffickers were convicted.

As of this date, there are several government and NGO programs that have helped human trafficking survivors. The Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 highlights the common illegal practices including trafficking, child prostitution, forced labor, slaver, sex tourism and exploitation, etc.

Women and Children Prone to Sex Trafficking Scam

Women and children are the usual victims of human trafficking through child pornography, sexual assault and prostitution. Women and children are lured into a luxurious lifestyle expecting greener pastures. They are almost always promised a better life – an escape from poverty – but the better life rarely shows up.

Trafficking remains a complex issue that is yet to be resolved. One of the most challenging part of human trafficking, child pornography and prostitution is the fact that most survivors are being sold by the mother or father in exchange for a better life.

 

Written by Abbie Uychiat

 

Abbie Uychiat studied BS Psychology and is an aspiring independent film director based in the Philippines. She is a dreamer and is juggling the joys of single motherhood, her career as a recruitment specialist and a freelance writer. Part of her mission is to provide a better and cleaner Philippines for the future generation.

 

 

http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2015/08/17/1488859/seduction-and-trafficking-minors

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3164917/The-red-light-city-Philippines-filled-children-fathered-Australian-sex-trade-tourists-women-pregnant-abandoning-nothing.html

http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/issues/gender-issues/85034-commercial-sexual-exploitation-children

 

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