Cyberporn victim strives to overcome trauma
(Last of three parts)
CEBU CITY — For several years, Timmy and his siblings were peddled by their parents to pedophiles online in their cyberpornography business.
Timmy was a teenager when he was first made to pose naked and perform lewd acts in front of a computer camera by his parents at their home in Cordova town on Mactan Island as online clients watched.
The act went on for some time until National Bureau of Investigation agents arrested his parents.
Timmy, the eldest in a brood of seven brothers and sisters, had to overcome the trauma from that experience to dream again of a good life for the sake of his siblings.
In January, Timmy, now 22, started working on a foreign cruise ship as a cook.
“It was extremely difficult to be separated from our parents. It was like the whole world rested on my shoulders. As the eldest, I am responsible for my younger siblings,” said Timmy, who finished a course on hotel and restaurant management at the University of Cebu.
He has six siblings aged 20, 18, 16, 12, 10 and 6. Except for his 20-year-old brother, who is also working now, all his siblings, including Martha, a volunteer teacher for street children, live in a center under the supervision and care of guardians.
Timmy recovered with the help of social workers and psychologists but he also had the determination to move forward.
“I have accepted everything that had happened. I use my experience to become a better person, and it is from this that I draw strength to succeed in life,” he said.
“I believe things happen for a reason. I just have to think positive and trust in God,” he added.
Timmy has also forgiven his parents.
“At first, I was mad at them because the way they earned money for our family was wrong. But I have to forgive,” he said.
“Mother, Father, thank you. You had to do something to provide for our needs, although what you did was wrong. We are not sorry you are our parents,” he said, hoping his message would reach his mother and father in jail.
Fr. Eligio Suico, head of the Cebu Archdiocesan Commission on Family and Life, said cyberpornography had devastated families and individuals in unthinkable ways.
Suico urged families not to give in to the temptation of easy money, saying it would not bring anything good.
“Engaging in cyberpornography is a grave offense, especially if it involves your children. This is a way of the devil to destroy families—the basic unit of society,” he said.
Church information drive
The Church joins the government in informing and molding people to get rid of any means that would destroy both body and soul, Suico said.
“We need to have an information dissemination drive to educate or awaken people. From the side of the Church, we are doing whatever we can to stop cyberpornography, although we admit it is an uphill climb,” he said.
Suico, the parish priest of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish at Barangay Pajac in Lapu-Lapu City, said he intended to create chapel-based groups that would encourage families to shun any form of sexual exploitation.
“Education campaign really helps. This could be a pilot program, and I hope this will be replicated in other parishes,” he said.
Timmy wants his parents to be pardoned and given the chance to lead a new life.
“I believe the years they have spent in jail are already enough,” he said.
Timmy said he had to find a decent job to help his siblings and build a home where they could live together as a family.
“And if one day, our parents are freed, they have a home to go home to,” he said.
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