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Crying Game

Every child who survives sexual abuse carries heavy emotional baggage that threatens her ability to trust others, to express their sexuality, and specially to forgive. Many girls, after the abuse, struggle to recognize themselves as worthy of a better life, this feeling leads them to the sex trade, alcohol and drug abuse, all to numb the pain they have inside.



Ever since the establishment of U.S. military bases in the Philippines in the late nineteenth century, the cities of Olongapo, Subic, and Angeles City have lived through a specific aftermath of the forces of conflict: in just a few years, the growing presence of soldiers turned these cities into capitals of prostitution and red light clubs.

Even after Clark Air Base near Angeles City, and the U.S. Naval Station at Subic Bay ceased operations as American military facilities, the impact of decades of a military presence left its legacy: prostitution continued to grow in these cities, which also became known as places for recruitment of minors into the sex trade. With the breakdown of legal and moral prohibitions brought on by the sex trade, sexual exploitation has grown:

• Girls who run away from sexual violence at home, perpetrated by relatives and neighbors often end up living on the street, becoming easy prey for pimps who bring them into prostitution rings and sex clubs.
• As the sex industry has grown, so has impunity for sex crimes.
• Local officials often act as negotiators between child abusers and the parents of abused children, arranging a financial settlement, which the official takes a cut of, and which leaves the pedophile free to abuse other children.

According to a study by the Psychological Trauma Program of the University of the Philippines, prostitution has grown to account for the fourth largest source of the country’s GNP. Experts say that children who have suffered sexual abuse carry heavy emotional baggage that causes problems for them with trust towards others; expression of sexuality; and uncontrolled anger. Many girls who have suffered sexual abuse, and struggle to find self-worth, are often easily lured into the sex trade, which in turn can lead to drug and alcohol abuse to numb the pain.

One of the organizations fighting to save these girls is the Preda Foundation, founded in Olongapo in 1974 by Father Shay Cullen, one of the first activists to fight back against the sex trade that grew around the U.S. military bases. The Victoria Children’s Home in Subic is a program founded by Preda, where staff members use “emotional expression therapy,” to help the girls deal with the anger and emotional wounds they carry as part of the healing process.



thanks to www.preda.org
1- The former duty free building at the now disused Clark Air Base in Angeles City.
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1- The former duty free building at the now disused Clark Air Base in Angeles City.
A portrait of Jose Maria Escrivà, a Spanish Roman Catholic priest who founded the Opus Dei organization in the church, inside a chapel at Clark.
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A portrait of Jose Maria Escrivà, a Spanish Roman Catholic priest who founded the Opus Dei organization in the church, inside a chapel at Clark.
Girls crossing the road in Angeles City. The city is known as a main source of entertainment in the Philippines. Prices for women in go-go bars vary depending on the venue.
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Girls crossing the road in Angeles City. The city is known as a main source of entertainment in the Philippines. Prices for women in go-go bars vary depending on the venue.
Rosario Baluyot died from a severe infection in her cervix in May, 1987. Parts of an electronic vibrator used by the man who abused her were stuck inside her vagina for over seven months. www.preda.org
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Rosario Baluyot died from a severe infection in her cervix in May, 1987. Parts of an electronic vibrator used by the man who abused her were stuck inside her vagina for over seven months. www.preda.org
The Victoria Children’s Home in Subic is a therapeutic center run by the Preda Foundation, which offers comprehensive care for children who have suffered sexual exploitation and trafficking.
www.preda.org
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The Victoria Children’s Home in Subic is a therapeutic center run by the Preda Foundation, which offers comprehensive care for children who have suffered sexual exploitation and trafficking.
www.preda.org
Girls taking care of each other. Most of them share similar childhood abuse.
 www.preda.org
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Girls taking care of each other. Most of them share similar childhood abuse.
www.preda.org
Girls take a nap in a hallway after lunch at the Victoria Children’s Home. 
 www.preda.org
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Girls take a nap in a hallway after lunch at the Victoria Children’s Home.
www.preda.org
MariJ is the ninth child of a big family. Staff from the Preda Foundation helped her get off the streets, but she still finds it difficult to control the rage she feels as a result of the abuse she suffered.
 www.preda.org
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MariJ is the ninth child of a big family. Staff from the Preda Foundation helped her get off the streets, but she still finds it difficult to control the rage she feels as a result of the abuse she suffered.
www.preda.org
During treatment sessions known as feeling therapy, or emotional expression therapy, girls tackle the underlying pain of years of abuse.
 www.preda.org
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During treatment sessions known as feeling therapy, or emotional expression therapy, girls tackle the underlying pain of years of abuse.
www.preda.org
In primal therapy treatment, girls gather in a group in a padded therapy room and give themselves the right to cry, shout and punch the cushions to release their frustrations and anger. 


 www.preda.org
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In primal therapy treatment, girls gather in a group in a padded therapy room and give themselves the right to cry, shout and punch the cushions to release their frustrations and anger.


www.preda.org
Dealing with pain and letting it go is one of the hardest things for these little girls.
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Dealing with pain and letting it go is one of the hardest things for these little girls.
Therapy is based on the idea that only when suppressed pain and anger are experienced and released, the child becomes whole again, and is able to cope with her future.
 www.preda.org
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Therapy is based on the idea that only when suppressed pain and anger are experienced and released, the child becomes whole again, and is able to cope with her future.
www.preda.org
"Chilotte" is a survivor of sexual exploitation. At a very young age, she was sex trafficked to both locals and foreign nationals. Her biological mother was a prostitute and is currently in jail.
 www.preda.org
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"Chilotte" is a survivor of sexual exploitation. At a very young age, she was sex trafficked to both locals and foreign nationals. Her biological mother was a prostitute and is currently in jail.
www.preda.org

Inside the "Home for Children" girls feel loved and protected again.
 www.preda.org
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Inside the "Home for Children" girls feel loved and protected again.
www.preda.org
The youngest girl at Victoria Children’s Home is believed to be between five and seven years of age. She doesn’t know when her birthday is because her family never celebrated it.

 www.preda.org
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The youngest girl at Victoria Children’s Home is believed to be between five and seven years of age. She doesn’t know when her birthday is because her family never celebrated it.

www.preda.org

The U.S. Naval Station at Subic Bay was one of America's largest naval bases in Asia. Today Subic is one of the top two destinations for sex tourism in the Philippines. The other is Angeles City, close to where Clark Air Base operated for more than eight decades.
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The U.S. Naval Station at Subic Bay was one of America's largest naval bases in Asia. Today Subic is one of the top two destinations for sex tourism in the Philippines. The other is Angeles City, close to where Clark Air Base operated for more than eight decades.
A group of students chatting in the main street of Subic.
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A group of students chatting in the main street of Subic.
When asked, most of these girls will say they are 20 even though most likely they are much younger than that.
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When asked, most of these girls will say they are 20 even though most likely they are much younger than that.
Part of the impact of U.S. military bases in the Philippines has been that the cities of Subic Olongapo and Angeles City draw the highest number of sex tourists in the country.
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Part of the impact of U.S. military bases in the Philippines has been that the cities of Subic Olongapo and Angeles City draw the highest number of sex tourists in the country.

Many of the young women who work in the bars in Subic say foreign men who have moved to the city are regulars at the sex bars.
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Many of the young women who work in the bars in Subic say foreign men who have moved to the city are regulars at the sex bars.

Many sex bars have no entrance fees, although some charge up to $10.  Two thousand pesos – about $39 – is the average price having sex with one of the girls.
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Many sex bars have no entrance fees, although some charge up to $10. Two thousand pesos – about $39 – is the average price having sex with one of the girls.
“In the club you pretend,” one of the girls working at a bar told me. “You pretend you’re happy."
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“In the club you pretend,” one of the girls working at a bar told me. “You pretend you’re happy."

At Club Atlantis Bar in Angeles City, the club celebrates 10 years of being in business with a challenge between girls.
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At Club Atlantis Bar in Angeles City, the club celebrates 10 years of being in business with a challenge between girls.
Marlene was a sex slave for almost her entire childhood. She was rescued from the streets in 1996, when she was 12, by the Preda Foundation. Today she works for Preda, trying to save girls from a life she knows too well. She has become one of key staff members at Preda; she’s known as the right hand of founder Father Shay Cullen.
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Marlene was a sex slave for almost her entire childhood. She was rescued from the streets in 1996, when she was 12, by the Preda Foundation. Today she works for Preda, trying to save girls from a life she knows too well. She has become one of key staff members at Preda; she’s known as the right hand of founder Father Shay Cullen.
In Manila, members of Virlanie, a non-profit organization that works with marginalized children and communities, help local mothers fill out birth certificates for their newborns. The organization works to strengthen families and support children as a way to keep young people off the streets, where they are easy prey for pimps. An estimated 246,000 children roam the streets of major urban centers throughout the Philippines.
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In Manila, members of Virlanie, a non-profit organization that works with marginalized children and communities, help local mothers fill out birth certificates for their newborns. The organization works to strengthen families and support children as a way to keep young people off the streets, where they are easy prey for pimps. An estimated 246,000 children roam the streets of major urban centers throughout the Philippines.
In the Philippines, 31.4 of children live below the poverty line. They are likely to drop out of school early, and to become involved in high-risk activities, like the sex trade.
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In the Philippines, 31.4 of children live below the poverty line. They are likely to drop out of school early, and to become involved in high-risk activities, like the sex trade.

Widespread poverty and domestic violence are some of the main reasons that children wind up on the streets, becoming easy prey for pimps.
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Widespread poverty and domestic violence are some of the main reasons that children wind up on the streets, becoming easy prey for pimps.
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