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A recent short film entitled “Virgin Marie” has been making rounds in social media as it presents a young girl delivering her testimony as a rape victim before the court.  

It was revealed later in the film that the young girl was being rehearsed by a lawyer to deliver false rape accusations against her father to win the case. 

 The Council for the Welfare of Children strongly condemns the film directed by Darryl Yap and its production VinCentiments and SAWAKAS AGAW EKSENA which erroneously portrays children victims of rape as someone who can be easily manipulated. To use a child in a film delivering purported rape testimonies promotes disbelief in their complaints or testimonies from people of any age or gender.

The 2015 National Baseline Study on Violence Against Children (NBS-VAC) reveals that:

  • 1 in 5 children experienced some form of sexual violence in their childhood;
  • Low disclosure rates are typical of sexual violence against children, and sexual violence was only disclosed by a small portion of children (1.6%); and
  • While sexual victimization in general is underreported, its cases among boys are even more underreported.

It is acknowledged that the media has an important role in raising public awareness and a critical partner in the protection of children. In fact, it is so powerful in shaping the minds of viewers, especially the young population. Thus, must be more careful and responsible at all in times in portraying issues of children because of its impact to the audiences, who may have difficulty of scrutinizing what is real and what is fictional. Films such as the Virgin Marie deepens rape myths to be more ingrained in the culture and society.

Misconceptions about rape will afflict more hurdles for complainants of sexual abuse; it deepens the stigma around child rape, may discourage more victims from reporting, and empowers perpetrators of abuses to commit crimes. The short film should instead support the collective efforts and gains government, civil society organizations, families and children have achieved so far in this issue. It should be used as a flat form to make the public more aware of the issue and make them realize the need to report such situation to proper authorities.

CWC appeals to the production team of Mr. Yap to take down the Virgin Marie video from all its social media accounts.

CWC stands firm in its advocacy in ending violence against children, particularly in educating the public that this issue should not be taken lightly.


Public Affairs and Information Office
781-1039 local 1005 or 1006

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