Recovery from child exploitation is a long process – CC’s story

CC is a 14-year-old girl who came from a poor and broken family in the Indonesian city of Batam. Batam, Indonesia. Growing up without affection from her parents made her highly vulnerable to exploitation.

A male teacher approached CC and tried to get her sympathy by telling her about his personal problems. He told her that his relationship with his wife was not well and they had been separated.

CC felt sorry for him and tried to be a good listener. Since the teacher bought her food and helped her with her assignments, she felt that he cared for her. He gave her the affection that she’s been longing for, which was not given by her parents.

‘He gave her the affection she longed for’

This, however, turned out to be the precursor for a horrific experience, a story told here by the Terre des Hommes charity, which works to help child victims of sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse, such as trafficking and forced labour.

The relationship between CC and the teacher became more intimate, and the teacher then asked her out. In August 2019, he told her that he cares for her and wanted to be with her. He also told her that she was the only girl that he loves and would marry her. The teacher suggested that she should quit school and take an informal program instead. For two months, he has made her have sex with him six times. The sexual acts happened in the school, at the teacher’s house, and in one of the hotels in Dumai .

Physically, CC was fine and there were no injuries. However, she felt sorry for her teacher and kept blaming herself for what happened to him. She said it was her fault too. She did not feel she was a victim. What she knew was whatever he did to her was a form of affection.

In November 2019, Yayasan Embun Pelangi (YEP), a partner organisation of Terre des Hommes Netherlands referred CC to a psychologist to help her understand what really happened. YEP provided her with legal counsel and accompanied her to the police.

‘At least now, I know where to go when I want to talk’

The case is currently under police investigation and YEP is monitoring its development. YEP’s social worker continues to assist her and her mother, and her education. In addition, YEP provides counseling and psychotherapy, and currently facilitating CC to receive services in a safe place.

After the counseling sessions, CC was able to understand her feelings and situation. “At least now, I know where to go when I want to talk, because so far you are the one I trust,” CC told a YEP social worker. Through the counselling services, CC and her mother have a further understanding of child rights and the law. They are improving their communication between each other and their relationship.

Terre des Hommes Netherlands is leading the ¨Down to Zero¨ Programme in various countries to provide support to children and young people such as CC to defend their rights and to facilitate communities to become safer and protective against sexual exploitation of children.

Interview courtesy of Terre de Hommes. Click here to read more about its work to help children.

Author: Simon Weedy

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