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Esther John Gnanakan

Co – sending Organization: Lanka Evangelical Alliance Development Service (LEADS)

Location: Colombo(Sri Lanka)

CoMP Since: February 2012

Sexual abuse of children is one of the least reported and most prevalent form of sexual abuse around the world. Difficult as it is to even think about, sexual abuse of children of all ages including infants, happens everyday. According to a 2009 study published in Clinical Psychology Review that examined 65 studies from 22 countries, the global prevalence of child sexual abuse has been estimated at 19.7% for females and 7.9% for males. In Sri Lanka the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), estimates over 20,000 cases of child abuse may occurred in the first half of this year (2012). Sri Lanka is principal source of child pornography for the market in the United States and Europe. LEADS estimates that there are 30,000 boy prostitutes in the country most of whom are between the age group of 6 and 14.

Because of the shame associated with sex and sexual abuse in Asia, most cases go unreported which puts into perspective the sheer challenge posed by this evil which is a constant threat to our children.

Esther is a CMS Co–Mission Partner who works with LEADS ‘ESCAPE project’ which has a vision of eradication sexual abuse of children from the country. As a child psychologist, her work involves counselling and therapy for children. A significant part of her time also goes in raising awareness and advocating in this issue. This is a challenging ministry which takes its toll both physically and emotionally. Strengthened by her faith in the Lord and her love and burden for children, Esther’s ministry is a true reflection of His compassion. This project is one of the very few in the country which is specifically committed on this issue and serves in face of many challenges.

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