AUSTRALIA - Ruby*, an IJM Survivor Leader, has long been a fierce advocate to end the online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC). In the past five years, her extraordinary story and powerful voice has earned her awards, gotten her published by Thomson Reuters and interviewed by the World Health Organization and the BBC. Now, her story has been brought masterfully to life in an engrossing podcast called The Fight of My Life: Finding Ruby.
When Ruby was just 16, she found herself lured by a false promise and trapped in an online sex trafficking den where she was forced to perform for predators all over the world. Finding Ruby illuminates the realities of one of the fastest growing and least visible crimes as the story of Ruby’s enslavement, rescue and fight for justice unfolds.
OSEC is such a disturbing topic it can be instinctual for new audiences to turn away, but the crime flourishes in the darkness of ignorance. Raising awareness in creative and approachable ways like The Fight of My Life podcast or Meta’s augmented and virtual reality campaign are critical steps towards bringing it into the light.
"Finding Ruby is not an easy listen, but in order to retain our collective humanity, it is ultimately a necessary one."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"I was audibly gasping listening to this, and completely drawn in. The story is told with power, professionalism and sensitivity."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"The integrity of the story telling and the at times hard to listen to content is always cushioned with a foundation of hope that weaves throughout the episodes."
Produced as a passion project by Australian creative agency Cadence Media, producer Rich Thompson said, “I’d actually worked on two campaigns with Ruby, but I’d only ever heard a condensed version of her story. [When I had the chance to hear her speak] I was so moved by the details that I knew then and there that Ruby’s story needed to be told fully.”
Ruby's story is singular, but not unique.
IJM’s Center to End Sexual Exploitation of Children is a leader in the global fight against OSEC. Since IJM began to focus on the emerging crime in 2016, we've partnered with local authorities to rescue over 1,000 children from OSEC in the Philippines.
An IJM-led study looked into global law enforcement data from 2010 to 2017 and found that Philippines had eight times more reported cases than any other country, making it a global hotspot for the crime. Cheap internet access, high levels of English-language proficiency, and financial disparity between foreign remote offenders and local traffickers are believed to be key factors driving the proliferation of the crime.
*a pseudonym to protect the survivor's identity.
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