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In any case of CHILD ABUSE, the INTENT of the abuser is IRRELEVANT.

Respected clinical psychologist, Dr. Honey Carandang shares her professional opinion that children should never be disrespected more so in exchange for money.

“The prostituted child does not like what is happening to him or her, but because he or she is given money that is very often much needed by the child himself or by the child’s family, then the confusion sets in – ‘I am traumatized but I am given money that will help my family.’ It is the element of money, the exchange of it that makes it doubly immoral more so if it is a child that is involved,” she explains.

The reward of money for acts that humiliate or ridicule is a subtle way of planting confusion into the hearts and minds of the public. “It’s like saying – it’s okay to debase yourself, to have your dignity trampled on because you will be rewarded for doing so. Thus, the distortion of values is really very subtle.”

In the End Child Abuse facebook page, I am reposting a comment from a psychotherapist intern in the USA on views of child abuse.

I am a psychotherapist intern here in the US. In my experience, it is very common for victims, especially children, to minimize the abuse. Often, they deny it, a lot of times they rationalize it. First, children are dependent on their caregivers. A child may not express how he/she feels about the abuse due to the fear of being punished. Second, as human beings, we unconsciously use defenses (such as denial and intellectualization) to protect us from experiencing a more threatening feelings such as shame and pain. So it’s not very smart to take the victim’s statement as the absolute truth. In Jan-Jan’s case, the host can claim that he did not have any intention to exploit the kid, but in any case of CHILD ABUSE, the INTENT of the abuser is IRRELEVANT.

What few of us realize is that people never make purely ‘wrong’ choices. at least as far as the person making the choice is concerned there is always an element of rationalization; a sort of built-in lawyer that first has to convert the ‘wrong’ choice into a ‘right’ one in the mind of the doer. this is often not a conscious thought process, but one that happens automatically. without it, many of us (and i include myself) would not be able to live with ourselves for the things that we do.

classic examples are those who justify stealing as a means of feeding their families. while they know that they breaking the law, they are also able to convince themselves that their need is bigger than the law. therefore freeing them to do what they want without damaging their own self-image.

In the USA, April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. I believe the Philippines does not have this in the calendar of the Department of Health. Kathryn Eaton, an executive director for Court Appointed Special Advocates said she was drawn to her job because she’s a mother and holds a special place in her heart for all children.

“When you hear of or see a child being hurt, it makes you want to act,” Eaton said.

Eaton said she hopes publicity about National Child Abuse Prevention Month will motivate more people to do something to help.

“Be aware,” she said. “Really watch and listen and be dedicated to being willing to get involved. I think people are afraid to do something they see as possible interference. But the child needs someone to step in and advocate for them.”

April should also be a child abuse prevention month to create awareness, educate and bring publicity to child protection laws.

Meanwhile in New York, child advocates condemned a video of a child doing a male stripper dance in a popular Philippine TV show. Here is a video of reactions of the advocates.

Andrew Rodney said, “This child , dancing like in a perverse way, coerced, with an audience seeing this happen—these people should definitely be reprimanded and stopped.”

Producer andTV host Dave Brodsky said, “I saw that, and it’s child abuse, you’re exploiting a little kid for your own purposes, for television, for entertainment purposes, It’s not entertainment, child abuse is pathetic.”

Nineteen year-old Genna Rae Basalatan was a one of the dancers when Wowowee came to Atlantic City, New Jersey 3 years ago, but after seeing Janjan’s controversial video, she said she will never dance for Willie again. “I actually feel disgusted that I actually danced on that show.”

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BlogWatch receives the “Best Story” Award for the First Data Journalism PH 2015 from the Open Knowledge Foundation and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism  for their story on “Aid Monitoring: Citizens’ Initial Efforts in the Wake of Typhoon Yolanda” . Forbes Philippines also received the same award.

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