7 episodes

"Finding Ruby", the first season of The Fight of My Life is a 6-part immersive true-crime tale.. Join Ruby on her remarkable true story; a journey from the protection of the mountains to the nightmare of an online sex-trafficking den, from the heat of the courtroom to the cool of the aftercare shelter, from fear to freedom, from captivity to restoration. From being lost to being truly found. Through in depth interviews with International Justice Mission (IJM) personnel, police, experts in the law, and experts on the ground, listeners are given an backstage pass to see just what is involved in a rescue operation of this sort, what it takes to fight for justice, and how we can all play a part in stopping this crime hidden in plain sight. Finding Ruby tackles the hard issues and questions head on: just who are these perpetrators of OSEC, and why do they do what they do? Is OSEC a crime of poverty? What is the role of technology in all this? Is there a solution, in our time? Make no mistake, this isn’t a story of a victim, but one of a fierce survivor. Today, Ruby is a leader, an advocate, and a woman with a story and a mission. Ruby has words to say to us all. And we need to listen. One thing is for sure, by the end of Finding Ruby you won’t think the same way about the world we live in… or those who fight to make it better. *The online sexual exploitation of children

The Fight of My Life Cadence Productions

    • True Crime
    • 4.9 • 50 Ratings

"Finding Ruby", the first season of The Fight of My Life is a 6-part immersive true-crime tale.. Join Ruby on her remarkable true story; a journey from the protection of the mountains to the nightmare of an online sex-trafficking den, from the heat of the courtroom to the cool of the aftercare shelter, from fear to freedom, from captivity to restoration. From being lost to being truly found. Through in depth interviews with International Justice Mission (IJM) personnel, police, experts in the law, and experts on the ground, listeners are given an backstage pass to see just what is involved in a rescue operation of this sort, what it takes to fight for justice, and how we can all play a part in stopping this crime hidden in plain sight. Finding Ruby tackles the hard issues and questions head on: just who are these perpetrators of OSEC, and why do they do what they do? Is OSEC a crime of poverty? What is the role of technology in all this? Is there a solution, in our time? Make no mistake, this isn’t a story of a victim, but one of a fierce survivor. Today, Ruby is a leader, an advocate, and a woman with a story and a mission. Ruby has words to say to us all. And we need to listen. One thing is for sure, by the end of Finding Ruby you won’t think the same way about the world we live in… or those who fight to make it better. *The online sexual exploitation of children

    Finding Ruby | The Trick | 1

    Finding Ruby | The Trick | 1

    "Piece by piece, the layers of protection around Ruby are pulled away. It is into this space that the message arrives on Facebook."

    It all begins with a greeting from an unknown woman over Facebook, offering sixteen year-old Ruby a job in a computer shop. 


    Full of hopes and expectations of a better life, and wanting to escape from the pain of her very recent past, Ruby journeys across the sea to the city of Pampanga and directly into her worst nightmare. 


    Far from her quiet mountain home, Ruby finds herself trapped alongside a group of other girls inside an urban online sex trafficking den, where she will be given no choice but to perform acts she never could have imagined in front of a screen. 


    Ruby realizes, too late, that it was all a trick. 
    Issues this episode explores:
    What exactly is the Online Sexual Exploitation of Children? Why is our instinct to turn away from this crime?
    Show website: fightofmy.life

    --------

    CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains descriptions of sexual violence. Listener discretion is advised. 

    Please seek help if you need to.

    To speak to a trained crisis supporter at Lifeline (24-hours): 131 114
    To report a crime to the Australian Federal Police: 1800 333 000
    For emergency assistance: 000

    FOR THE PHILIPPINES:
    If you have suspicions about the occurrence of online sexual exploitation of children in your community, immediately report to: www.1343actionline.ph




    --------

    Finding Ruby is a production of Cadence Productions.

    Show written and edited by Nikki Florence Thompson and Rich Thompson. 
    Additional production by Lydia Bowden, Anthea Godsmark, and Brendan Ridley. 
    Sound design and mix by Rich Thompson and Brendan Ridley. 
    Graphic design and social media by Sayaka Miyashita, Carla Moran, and Alyssa Sheridan. 
    Director of photography is Brad Conomy. 
    Matt Tooker is the executive producer.

    Show Music
    - "Homeland" by Searching for Light, featuring Jenna Carlie. 

    • 39 min
    Finding Ruby | The Trap | 2

    Finding Ruby | The Trap | 2

    Ruby is caught in the online sex trafficking den. The days are gruelling but she is determined to escape.

    When Ruby arrives at the house in Pampanga, the lady who first reached out to her is nowhere to be seen.

    The next morning, she comes face to face with her ‘boss,’ Nadine. Ruby tells her immediately that she wants to get out.  Nadine explains that Ruby must work to pay back her travel costs. But there’s a catch: she makes this virtually impossible for Ruby to achieve.

    Ruby learns the strict rules of the house. The girls are forbidden to leave for any reason. They must work 8 hours a day, performing online shows for multiple customers in remote corners of the world.

    Ruby’s one hope is escape. But with no one on the outside knowing where she is, Ruby is trapped.

    Only Ruby’s inner strength and determination keep her going. One evening, hearing sirens passing by outside, Ruby makes her first attempt at escape. 


    Issues this episode explores:
    The differences between OSEC and ‘traditional’ sex traffickingWhy OSEC isn’t a crime of poverty  Rich visits a perpetrator of OSEC in jail. 

    Show website: fightofmy.life

    --------

    CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains descriptions of sexual violence. Listener discretion is advised.

    Please seek help if you need to.

    To speak to a trained crisis supporter at Lifeline (24-hours): 131 114
    To report a crime to the Australian Federal Police: 1800 333 000
    For emergency assistance: 000

    FOR THE PHILIPPINES:
    If you have suspicions about the occurrence of online sexual exploitation of children in your community, immediately report to: www.1343actionline.ph

    --------

    Finding Ruby is a production of Cadence Productions.

    Show written and edited by Nikki Florence Thompson and Rich Thompson. 
    Additional production by Lydia Bowden, Anthea Godsmark, and Brendan Ridley. 
    Sound design and mix by Rich Thompson and Brendan Ridley. 
    Graphic design and social media by Sayaka Miyashita, Carla Moran, and Alyssa Sheridan. 
    Director of photography is Brad Conomy. 
    Matt Tooker is the executive producer.

    Show Music
    - "Homeland" by Searching for Light, featuring Jenna Carlie. 

    • 51 min
    Finding Ruby | The Trespass | 3

    Finding Ruby | The Trespass | 3

    "Who exactly is on the other side of the webcam? We come face to face with the kind of men exploiting Ruby. "

    Just who are these perpetrators who commit this heinous crime, and why? This episode opens a little differently: from the point of view of an overseas perpetrator. If we want to combat this crime, we need to understand something about those who commit it.

    We rejoin Ruby as she attempts for the first time to escape the online sex trafficking den.

    Ruby reaches an all time low and turns to her last resource: prayer. 

    Hope is on the horizon. Although Ruby has no way of knowing it, a team of rescuers is busy preparing the last steps to come for her and the other girls

    You won’t want to miss what happens next. 


    Issues this episode explores:
    Who are these overseas consumers of OSEC? Is there one ‘type’ of perpetrator? Hint: the answer may shock you.Is there any hope of change or rehabilitation for those who commit the crime?


    Show website: fightofmy.life

    --------

    CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains descriptions of sexual violence. Listener discretion is advised.

    Please seek help if you need to.

    To speak to a trained crisis supporter at Lifeline (24-hours): 131 114
    To report a crime to the Australian Federal Police: 1800 333 000
    For emergency assistance: 000

    FOR THE PHILIPPINES:
    If you have suspicions about the occurrence of online sexual exploitation of children in your community, immediately report to: www.1343actionline.ph

    --------

    Finding Ruby is a production of Cadence Productions.

    Show written and edited by Nikki Florence Thompson and Rich Thompson. 
    Additional production by Lydia Bowden, Anthea Godsmark, and Brendan Ridley. 
    Sound design and mix by Rich Thompson and Brendan Ridley. 
    Graphic design and social media by Sayaka Miyashita, Carla Moran, and Alyssa Sheridan. 
    Director of photography is Brad Conomy. 
    Matt Tooker is the executive producer.

    Show Music
    - "Homeland" by Searching for Light, featuring Jenna Carlie. 

    • 38 min
    Finding Ruby | The Treasure | 4

    Finding Ruby | The Treasure | 4

    "Light breaks into the darkness. A painstaking investigation leads to the rescue of Ruby and the other girls."

    Listeners are given behind the scenes access to how a rescue operation is built–and spoiler–it isn’t all busting down doors!

    We travel alongside Attorney Rey of International Justice Mission as he works alongside Philippines police to gain access to the house Ruby and the girls are trapped in, and see what it is like firsthand to work in such a dark area, bringing light one step at a time.

    The path to rescue is built on a series of small, strategic steps.  At any moment, anything could go wrong.

    At last rescue arrives for Ruby.  But this is in many ways only the beginning of her journey to healing.

    Issues this episode explores:
    The multidisciplinary team needed for a rescue operation A consideration of privacy and protection laws The toll  taken on rescue workers and what motivates them to keep going
    Show website: fightofmy.life

    --------

    CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains descriptions of sexual violence. Listener discretion is advised.

    Please seek help if you need to.

    To speak to a trained crisis supporter at Lifeline (24-hours): 131 114
    To report a crime to the Australian Federal Police: 1800 333 000
    For emergency assistance: 000

    FOR THE PHILIPPINES:
    If you have suspicions about the occurrence of online sexual exploitation of children in your community, immediately report to: www.1343actionline.ph




    --------

    Finding Ruby is a production of Cadence Productions.

    Show written and edited by Nikki Florence Thompson and Rich Thompson. 
    Additional production by Lydia Bowden, Anthea Godsmark, and Brendan Ridley. 
    Sound design and mix by Rich Thompson and Brendan Ridley. 
    Graphic design and social media by Sayaka Miyashita, Carla Moran, and Alyssa Sheridan. 
    Director of photography is Brad Conomy. 
    Matt Tooker is the executive producer.

    Show Music
    - "Homeland" by Searching for Light, featuring Jenna Carlie. 

    • 47 min
    Finding Ruby | The Trial | 5

    Finding Ruby | The Trial | 5

    Episode 5 - The Trial: The fight for justice now begins. Ruby’s perpetrators belong behind bars, but their lawyer will do anything to stop that from happening.

    Ruby and the girls from the house are brought to the DSWD for safekeeping while the criminal trial against the perpetrators  is prepared.

    Ruby’s fierce young lawyer, Attorney Kath of IJM, AKA ‘The Dainty Dragon’ is introduced for the first time, and we learn how her own life story of hardship and injustice impacts her quest for justice.

    The trial does not go smoothly. Ruby and Kath are up against a fierce battle as the opposing defense does everything in his power to combat them and protect the perpetrators.

    Despite terrible hardship and ongoing trauma, we see Ruby emerge in this episode with a strong voice as a leader and advocate for others.

    The episode ends with a crucial key question: will Ruby agree to a plea bargain against her perpetrators?

    And the bigger question behind it all: Just what exactly is justice? 


    Issues this episode explores:
    How an OSEC case is prepared and prosecuted The nature of justice The psychological effects of waiting and trauma on survivor victims 
    Show website: fightofmy.life

    --------

    CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains descriptions of sexual violence. Listener discretion is advised.

    Please seek help if you need to.

    To speak to a trained crisis supporter at Lifeline (24-hours): 131 114
    To report a crime to the Australian Federal Police: 1800 333 000
    For emergency assistance: 000

    FOR THE PHILIPPINES:
    If you have suspicions about the occurrence of online sexual exploitation of children in your community, immediately report to: www.1343actionline.ph




    --------

    Finding Ruby is a production of Cadence Productions.

    Show written and edited by Nikki Florence Thompson and Rich Thompson. 
    Additional production by Lydia Bowden, Anthea Godsmark, and Brendan Ridley. 
    Sound design and mix by Rich Thompson and Brendan Ridley. 
    Graphic design and social media by Sayaka Miyashita, Carla Moran, and Alyssa Sheridan. 
    Director of photography is Brad Conomy. 
    Matt Tooker is the executive producer.

    Show Music
    - "Homeland" by Searching for Light, featuring Jenna Carlie. 

    • 47 min
    Finding Ruby | The Triumph | 6

    Finding Ruby | The Triumph | 6

    Episode 6 - The Triumph: Bitterness and anger well up in Ruby as she tries to move on with her life. Can she overcome this and truly heal?

    We open with Ruby’s dream. She is walking in a lush green field where she feels safe and free.

    The dream echoes Psalm 23 and comes after Ruby and her social worker at the DSWD pray about Ruby moving to a new safe house in the country.

    It is here, at the new house,  that Ruby gradually recovers from her trauma and reclaims her life.

    Change isn’t instant or easy, but it  is powerful. 

    She also makes a very important decision that will change not only her own life but those of her perpetrators, Nadine and Pedro, dramatically.

    This episode sees Ruby making progress in healing in ways you might not expect. Her last actions in this episode will stay with you forever.

    Issues this episode explores:
    The complex nature of trauma The concept of restorative justicePaths to rehabilitation and healing 

    Show website: fightofmy.life
    Cadence website: cadencemedia.au
    Nikki Florence Thompson website: nikkifthompson.com

    --------

    CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains descriptions of sexual violence. Listener discretion is advised.

    Please seek help if you need to.

    To speak to a trained crisis supporter at Lifeline (24-hours): 131 114
    To report a crime to the Australian Federal Police: 1800 333 000
    For emergency assistance: 000

    FOR THE PHILIPPINES:
    If you have suspicions about the occurrence of online sexual exploitation of children in your community, immediately report to: www.1343actionline.ph




    --------

    Finding Ruby is a production of Cadence Productions.

    Show written and edited by Nikki Florence Thompson and Rich Thompson. 
    Additional production by Lydia Bowden, Anthea Godsmark, and Brendan Ridley. 
    Sound design and mix by Rich Thompson and Brendan Ridley. 
    Graphic design and social media by Sayaka Miyashita, Carla Moran, and Alyssa Sheridan. 
    Director of photography is Brad Conomy. 
    Matt Tooker is the executive producer.

    Show Music
    - "Homeland" by Searching for Light, featuring Jenna Carlie. 

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
50 Ratings

50 Ratings

Ruth Blue ,

Inspirational

Ruby’s story is powerfully, thoroughly, creatively and thoughtfully portrayed. Although the subject is horrific and I had my concerns about giving it headspace, it was so gently and sensitively addressed, that at the conclusion I felt inspired and hopeful. I would strongly recommend this series to anyone who has a heart for justice and wants to understand more about OSEC.

MikeW1977 ,

Amazing true story of a horrible crime happening in our midst

I was aware of the online sexual exploitation of children before I listened to this podcast. But this immerses you in it - to help you understand the extent, the pain, heartache, trauma and long term effects of what many people think is harmless. If you want to know more - listen. If you are unaware of its existence - listen. If you love true crime podcasts - listen. Just listen!

Pothos111 ,

A story worth telling

We need to shine a light on stories like this. Not for our entertainment, but to inspire us in to purse justice. It’s been beautifully and carefully handled here, and well worth a listen.

Top Podcasts In True Crime

Wondery | Campside
Wondery
True Crime Australia
Casefile Presents
CBC Podcasts + BBC World Service
Graeme CROWLEY

You Might Also Like

The Age and Sydney Morning Herald
Jack Laurence
That Sounds Fun Network
discovery+
iHeartPodcasts
Lemonada Media