Cardinal Tagle said: “Some of the main perpetrators of sexual abuse are parents, relatives, neighbours, and often close acquaintances of the victims. According to a survey commissioned by the International Justice Mission, alarmingly 24% of abuse cases are perpetrated by either parents or relatives. Online sexual exploitation of children in Asia is one of the many faces of poverty. What adds to the complexion of this situation is the ease in which perpetrators can access the internet, as well as a lack of understanding when it comes to the lasting impact that abuse has on its victims. We need continuous education and rigorous law enforcement to remedy this.”
Rounding off his speech, Cardinal Tagle outlined two proposals to help eradicate online abuse. The first being to commission serious philosophical and theological studies from each Faith on their respective traditions and how an understanding of these can be used to either remedy or prevent online abuse. The second proposal Cardinal Tagle suggested was to explore the relationship between digital life and real life. Cardinal Tagle was alarmed by how some parents still allow their child to be sexually abused online, because they believe it is ‘not real life’.
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