In Our Backyard
Film maker, Libby Spears was traveling and working in the Philippines, Thailand and China and gained fist hand knowledge of the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children and women. Deeply disturbed she went underground to interview victims, pimps and abusers and to map the extent of this deeply disturbing problem. She was dismayed to find that the issue was not limited to other countries, but was alive and well in the Western world. It was for instance, she discovered, just as easy to buy a child for sex in North America as it was in Cambodia.
The documentary Playground examines the inability of legal and social systems to deal with this crisis. Although the documentary provides no clear cut answers it successfully compels us to begin asking questions, hard questions and the right questions. Why is it that we treat children who are sexually abused as victims, but when money changes hand we call them criminals? Why is there such an overwhelming demand for sex with children? Is this a new problem, a growing epidemic of horrific stature … or something that has always happened? Why do we think of children being trafficked in other countries as helpless victims, but see the same victimized children here as part of the problem? We know that children who are involved in the child welfare system can easily fall in between the cracks – what is our responsibility to them and their safety? When does a run away kid, become a throw away kid?
We must stop thinking that the sexual exploitation of children and women is something that happens in other countries, other states, other neighborhoods, other homes, other families, by people who are not our family members and who we don’t know. Most men who are purchasing children for sex in other countries, will have already abused a child back home.
Please consider watching this brilliant, gut wrenching documentary. We can’t change what we refuse to see.
Fiona McColl – PeakCare Training and Development Manager