A number of our sponsored girls have come to us through Cambodian Women’s Crisis Centre as victims of domestic or sexual violence. In order to respect their privacy and to keep them safe, the girls remain anonymous. Here is one story:
“When I was seven my mum had to leave me at home every day while she went to work in the garment factory. My step-father didn’t work; he drank and liked to play cards with the neighbours. We couldn’t afford for me to go to school; the uniforms and books were too expensive and I couldn’t pay the daily fee to the teachers for the lesson materials. So I stayed home, I served the men drinks and tried to keep to myself. One day after the men left, my step-father raped me. It felt like the worst day of my life …… and it continued.
My mum and I were forced to run away to hide from my step-father. We hid in a shelter for almost a year; we had no home and my mum had to change her job. Now she is a cleaner, day and night, and we live in a small hut at the back of the building where she works.
Now I go to school, and I study really hard. Lotus Outreach Australia have given me a uniform and books, and provide rice so I don’t have to work like my mum. I am doing well and I am so thankful to have this opportunity.”Back to Stories from Cambodia