I FINALLY made the call. It was to one of our former R.AGE journalists, Maryam, who spent months investigating child sex predators for our campaign. I could finally tell her that the Bill had been passed in Parliament yesterday evening.
We did it. She did it.
The past week, we spent uncountable hours filming the final leg of our Predator In My Phone campaign, and one of the main things that kept me going was the anticipation of this call to Maryam.
The toughest part for us wasn’t lobbying the MPs, researching legislation, attending court hearings, or even doing undercover work.
It had to do with facing what seemed to be an unending stream of naked depravity.
Maryam had to endure what most people should never have to.
She went face to face with sex predators, listened to them brag about sexually abusing children – in graphic detail – and pretended that everything was okay.
She listened as fathers, husbands, and even a media practitioner, revealed how they would groom children.
We had to listen to the recordings over and over as we edited the documentary series. We had to keep a record of all the obscene communications.
And we had to continue getting messages from these predators, even when we don’t initiate any contact.
It affected us all. The thought that there was nothing we could do against these predators kept us pushing for a breakthrough.
Fortunately, there was a host of incredibly dedicated advocates willing to work with us, like the folks from Unicef, Women’s Centre for Change, P.S. The Children, the police’s D11 unit and more.
That’s how we came up with the idea of campaigning for new laws. That’s how we were able to bring this issue all the way up to Parliament.
That’s how we will be able to bring the message down to the ground, to children, parents, and educators throughout the nation, now that the law is finally passed.
Maryam wasn’t in Parliament with us yesterday. Working on Predator had taken a toll on her.
She eventually decided she needed a break. She resigned.
Fighting child sexual crimes is terrifyingly ugly. Just ask any child advocate or D11 police officer. On days like this, we can celebrate because our MPs have given us a ray of hope.
No doubt, tomorrow, another child will be abused. Statistics tell us that.
The difference now is that we’ll be ready to take the abuser down, together, as a nation.
Continue supporting the campaign against child sexual crimes by following us at fb.com/ragepmp.