MANILA – Worldwide, millions of children are sexually abused every year. In the Philippines, from 2011-2016, there were reports of 7418 children raped, by adults children trusted, Bahay Tuluyan ( Shelter House) of the Philippines, in partnership with TBWA\SMP, released “Disgusting Stories”, an animated film using actual illustrations by abused children given by sociologist Dr. Elspeth McInnes of University of South Australia.
Within 24 hours of posting, the video had been picked up by publications and children’s rights groups all over the world, reaching Macedonia, Vietnam, France, United Kingdom, Portugal and America. It was featured as Ad of the day by The Drum and Ad of the Week by Fast Company. The film was also picked up by Rappler which made a call to “Stop the Silence.”
Yesterday, however, social media giant Facebook took the video down, and suspended the uploader’s admin privileges for supposedly violating their community standards. An appeal has been made to Facebook, which, at the time of this writing, had yet to respond. In silencing the video, Facebook has only proven the very point that Bahay Tuluyan sought to address.
The official TBWA\SMP Facebook account had this to say: “Last week, Bahay Tuluyan presented stories of children that we cannot be silent about. But last night, Facebook silenced their stories because they violated FB’s community Standards. We are appealing for Facebook to reinstate our film. Meanwhile, our film is still online and can be viewed here.”
Despite the setback, Bahay Tuluyan’s mission to respond to abuse and exploitation of Filipino children continues. Bahay Tuluyan encourages everyone to report suspected abuse to the proper authorities, and help put a stop to these crimes through donations or volunteering. The organization also provides programs and services aimed to prevent and respond to child abuse and exploitation, and rescue the victims.
A Bahay Tuluyan hotline (+63 2 254 0213) is available for those who wish to report suspected and actual child abuse. For more information, visit their website at http://www.bahaytuluyan.org/.