MANILA—Fresh from her bronze medal finish at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Filipina jiu jitsu athlete Meggie Ochoa has been doing media rounds not just to tout her latest achievement but also to push for her advocacy to protect children against sexual abuse.
The 28-year old fighter is part of Fight2Protect, a group that helps sexually abused minors to cope and recover from the trauma.
"Hindi lang siya building awareness, meron din siyang aspeto na tumutulong sa mga batang biktima para makabalik sila sa sarili nilang mga paa through sports," Ochoa said in an interview on DZMM.
The purple-belter said she took part in the cause after realizing the Philippines was a hotspot for child sexual offenders.
A 2016 Unicef report showed the Philippines remains as the top source of online child pornography with 80 percent of Filipino children at risk of online sexual abuse or bullying.
"We are one of the top sources of child pornography with babies as young as 2 months [being victimized]," Ochoa said.
"Gusto ko talaga gumawa ng kahit anong kaya kong gawin para matulungan yung mga bata," she said.
Ochoa, along with other mixed martial arts players involved in Fight2Protect, had been going to communities to teach basic self-defense techniques, and speaking in forums against sexual abuse.
"I wanna make use of something the Lord blessed my life with to build awareness on an issue that is really bad in the Philippines," Ochoa said.
"I wanna use sports as a platform to do something about it. Sports has that power to change someone's life," she said.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.