HAVE we embraced the culture of impudence? We still hear news reports about women who are being victimized and blackmailed. The worst part is when people allow themselves to be photographed or video recorded nude or while being intimate.
The “Maria Clara” image of Filipino women has long gone to oblivion but has our being prudent gone too? Being prudent is one virtue that characterizes the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason. Men will respect women who show some modesty.
Blackmailing will continue as long as there are women willing to entertain men with dubious motives. Exposure to social media has sped up the process of losing one’s innocence. Texting, online dating apps and sexual abuse either consentual or forced are contributory factors why children as young as seven or eight have already lost their virginity.
The Catholic Church has earlier expressed concern over the rising statistics of teenage pregnancies. The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) reported that “roughly 90 percent of adolescent girls who reported forced sex say that their first perpetrator was someone they knew, usually a boyfriend or a husband.” It added that many victims of sexual violence, including boys, never tell anyone.
Australia Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization) found that a number of convergent factors from Covid-19 — the closure of schools, restriction on international travel and an increased amount of time spent online — have created a perfect storm for sexual predators. It also cited an increase in the amount of child exploitation materials being shared via peer-to-peer networks particularly on the dark net as well as increase in self generated materials — nude selfies, for example, being distributed on the clear net.
Restrictions on movement and more time spent at home have fed an increase in demand, they noted, while economic hardships and opportunities for abuse have fed an increase in supply.
International Justice Mission Philippines warned that local traffickers were live streaming an inordinate amount of child sexual abuse and exploitation materials to offenders online, primarily in Western countries.
Unicef has reportedly invested prevention programs to change social norms that condone sexual violence and perpetrate a culture of silence.
My research was made easy by collated reports from Vice Media Group and Gavin Butler.