Charie* is 15 and lives in the Philippines. She was referred by a non-governmental organisation for counselling after she was molested by a youth leader. Family for Every Child member organisation, the Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse (CPTCSA), provided counselling sessions to Charie that focused on issues around betrayal and powerlessness, to help Charie recover from her experience. Here she lets us in on her life.
Who is part of your family?
My parents, younger sister and I.
What makes your family special?
My family is special because they support my decisions and guide me in everything I do. When I was abused, I immediately told my mother. She never blamed me or reprimanded me, and took immediate action by reporting it to the authorities. And my father always talks to me to make sure that I am alright.
Tell us about something that makes you happy?
Family and friends make me happy. The bonding that we did as a family means that I am open to my parents about my friends and activities in school and church. And with my friends, I can tell them everything. When I had my counselling at CPTCSA, it made me happy because I consider it as my safe place. I felt at ease and expressed all my sentiments and frustrations. I also learned a lot of ways to protect myself.
What do you think is important for other children to know?
Children (both boys and girls) should be careful in trusting other people. You must be careful in giving your full trust, as you will never know their real intentions. And if something bad happens to you, it is not your fault.
What is your dream for the future? I dream of becoming a police officer. I want to protect more children, especially my younger sister, and I want to work on the investigations that help children who are victims of abuse.
CPTCSA is a non-profit, non-government, child-focused institution, founded in 1995. Its vision is working towards a safe world for children, free from sexual abuse. Among its programmes and services is the prevention of child sexual abuse, treatment of child sexual abuse, research, learning institute and publications. Although Charie endured an awful experience in her youth, with the support of CPTCSA – as well as her own bravery – she has been able to develop a positive view of her future. Thank you for your ongoing support to Family, which helps us to protect vulnerable children like Charie, worldwide.
*Names and photographs have been changed in this article.