Chang* was an excellent student. Her school had scheduled a special ceremony where outstanding students would be recognized, including Chang. Sadly, she never went on stage because the night before, police rescued her and 11 other victims of online sexual exploitation of children. They were brought to a safe place, far away from their five online sex traffickers – far away from life as they knew it.
Chang was 14 years old when she first entered her neighbors’ house – the house with a bad reputation. Chang’s parents warned her never to enter this house. In their community, all the girls who were seen frequenting this house had bad reputations. Some of those girls were Chang’s friends. Regardless, Chang steered clear of this house and of what she knew was illegal activity.
But the traffickers’ online customers were demanding new children to view, so they soon invited Chang.
Lured with the thought of earning her own money, Chang entered the house. She thought that all she would do was to wave and say “hi” to the camera. When the traffickers asked her to take her clothes off, Chang cried. For the first time, her naked body was seen by other people.
“For the first time I felt happy because I knew I was going to get money,
but I was also in tears because for the first time,
other people saw my [naked] body.”**
After three months of being coerced to posing nude for the camera, Chang’s father found out that she had been in the house. He went and threatened the abusers. With a scythe in his hands, he screamed at Chang’s abusers, “Don’t recruit my child or I will report you to the police.”**
At that point, Chang realized how much her father loved her. Since then, she avoided the house and her friends.
Until one day, her friend who was the sister of one of the abusers, went to Chang’s house. She was instructed not to come home until she brought Chang along with her. If she fails to bring Chang back, she’d better start looking for another place to sleep.
Chang feared her father’s anger, but she feared her friend’s homelessness more. She agreed to go with her friend to the house. Later that day, police raided the house and arrested all of the five perpetrators and rescued Chang along with the other victims of abuse.
Chang considers her rescue to be a blessing.
“God has a purpose for rescuing us. It was to open our eyes to the truth, to the right way.”**
For her, she would not have discovered what her talents and true passions are had she not been pulled away from her community.
Today, Chang is doing well in school and has had new chances to be recognized and honored for her academic excellence. Moreover, she is filled with many dreams – first on the list is to become a police officer.
“I want to be a police officer because I don’t want what happened to me in the past to happen again. I am inspired to be a police who does not do the job only to have a higher salary or to be praised by people. I want to stop what’s currently spreading – not just online sexual exploitation of children, but every illegal act. I want to do this someday.”**