A Survivor’s Story
Kanako* is a typical teenager. She likes to hang out with friends and dreams about a steady boyfriend. She has been researching her options to go to a university in a few years. When the stress of upcoming exams and strained relations with her parents became too much, she was relieved to meet a young man online who she believed understood her. “I was nervous at first, but I got to know him through video calls,” said Kanako. “He reassured me that he was someone I could trust.”
Soon after he began pushing Kanako to send nude photos and videos of herself, and she reluctantly agreed, afraid to lose the only steady relationship in her life. “Once he got the photos I sent, he stopped talking with me and started to cyberbully me before breaking all contact.”
At her lowest point of devastation and fear, Kanako came across ZOE Japan’s content on Twitter. Reading through ZOE’s prevention posts, she realized that she is not alone and that other girls have also gone through the same thing! “I reached out to ZOE via a LINE message and shared my story with the ZOE staff. I recognized that I was a victim of sextortion and that this guy was committing a crime!” With ZOE’s help, Kanako received legal advice at no cost and proceeded with the next steps to bring the perpetrator to justice. We praise God for the opportunity to bring hope and restoration to survivors like Kanako.
*Pseudonym: ZOE protects the identity and dignity of children and does not share actual names or show trafficked children’s faces.
Definition of sextortion: the practice of forcing someone to do something, particularly to perform sexual acts, by threatening to publish naked pictures of them or sexual information about them. (Source: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/sextortion)
ZOE Japan 2021 Quarter 4 Impact:
- Japan’s Hotline – Our Japanese and English podcasts extend their reach and recently surpassed 1,000 downloads with listeners in 60 different countries.
- 14 Presentations/Awareness Opportunities
- 20 Outreach/prayer walks
- 30 Interviews with survivors
- 11 Schools distributed ZOE prevention materials
- 41,000+ Social Media Profile Visits