Sopeap's Story - Hope in Cambodia
A friend of my cousin sold me. She asked if I could babysit her child but it was all a trick. When I arrived I carried her baby inside the building. It was then I realised she had taken me to a brothel. She took money from the brothel owners and left me there.
At first I was desperate to escape, but after a while I realised I had nowhere to go so I stayed there. I wanted to go home but I was too ashamed to face my family. I never received money for sex work, the pimp took it all.
At first they didn't make me have sex with customers, but they gave me food and took care of me. They injected me with drugs, telling me they would make me beautiful. After one month of this, they forced me to have sex with customers. At first they asked me in a pleasant voice, telling me I could earn money doing this. I still refused. So they beat me with a belt until I agreed to do it. The customers beat me also, and I realised I had no way out of the situation. I was never allowed to refuse customers, even if I was sick. Some customers beat me if I asked them to wear a condom, and threatened to kill me.
I had no hope and was full of fear. It was hard to breathe, and I had no self-worth. I didn't want to live and I tried to buy sleeping pills to kill myself but the pharmacist would not sell me more than two pills at one time. Every night I had nightmares, panic attacks and intense fears.
Then, I found a way out. Women believed in me, who gave me a job and helped me get treatment when I got sick. They gave me counselling and my feelings began to change. I can usually sleep well at night now. Before I had to take a pill to sleep and couldn't sleep until 12 or 1am - now I never use pills... I don't need them. I know I have value now.
There have been numerous reports and stories detailing widescale trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation and forced labour. Perhaps through a sense of embarrassment or a feeling of helplessness, the world generally continues to turn its head away from the uncovered horror. We do not.
At 'Hope and Light' we focus on the plight of the world's centre for human trafficking: South East Asia. We aim to shine the incomparable Light of Jesus upon these people's suffering, give them a path out of darkness and provide them with a profound hope for the future.
Hope and Light is a ministry set up to help vulnerable women in Asia. We rely on the generosity of people supporting our outreach projects such as the one in Cambodia mentioned above. If you would like to help women like Sopeap then please donate, or consider setting up a regular gift towards our work.
If you are interested in reading more about the work of Hope and Light and true stories that will leave you forever changed, you can purchase a copy of our book online - For Their Tears I Died, Patricia King. All proceeds from the reissue of this book will assist Hope and Light.
To donate or for more information visit the donate page.DONATE