Skip to main content
sex trade2 1 1e0e9322 sex trade2 1 1e0e9322

Sonya’s story needs to be told

For the last year I’ve had a little side project: raise up a team of young women to go to Cambodia and help rescue the “bar girls” out of their life of horror. There are thousands of them, often sold by their mothers into prostitution. You can read about our team here. Our leader on the ground, A…
By Seth Barnes
For the last year I’ve had a little side project: raise up a team of young women to go to Cambodia and help rescue the “bar girls” out of their life of horror. There are thousands of them, often sold by their mothers into prostitution. You can read about our team here. Our leader on the ground, Alli Mellon, wrote this about the situation there. If you want to be a part of the effort to rescue the thousands of young girls like Sonya who are trapped in the sex trade, please let me know. You can make a difference:
 
sex trade2 1Recently, several organizations held a forum here on media presentations. Basically it was outlining the way we should and should NOT go about raising awareness of the horrible sexual exploitation that happens in Cambodia. The head of the forum instructed everyone that an individual’s story should never be told; that we should only report statistics when talking about the plight of these children. This woman said that if anyone sheds tears during our presentations or over our newsletters, then we are manipulating people.
 
I strongly disagree with her statements, and want to take a minute here to explain why I tell the stories of our children. I tell their stories because they don’t have a voice. They don’t have a way to let the horrific crimes against their bodies out into the light. If no one knows their stories, Satan’s secrets and shame stay hidden where they grow and fester into lifelong wounds. When the kids tell their stories, the secrets can’t stay hidden. When the kids tell their stories, the shame disappears as others say, “hey, it happened to me too”, or “come let me love you and help heal your heart”. When the kids share their stories, they find freedom and release.
 
Sonya gave us permission to tell her story. She wants people to know what happened to her, so that others may be saved from the same kind of hurt.
 
Sonya doesn’t know exactly how old she was when she was sold by her mother, but it had to be as young as seven years old. Her mother handed her over to a foreign man who was living with a Khmer woman, and they moved her across the border to Thailand. She lived there for three years, and the man raped her on a regular basis. When Sonya refused to have sex with him, the Khmer woman would punish Sonya by beating her.  The beatings were severe, and Sonya was held prisoner there until she was sold to an American pedophile back in Cambodia.
 
The American man also lived with a Khmer woman. He told Sonya he was hiring her to clean the house, and at first, Sonya was so excited because his house was big and nice. She really wanted to live there. She worked very hard every day, and the man would give her one dollar at the end of it. Sonya saved up all her money to give to her mother.
 
One day, the man called Sonya to come to his room. He did not have clothes on, and neither did the Khmer woman. With the woman translating, the man told Sonya to undress. Sonya was ten, and was not sure what to do, but she was afraid so she obeyed the man. Then, the woman instructed Sonya on how to give a massage to the man. That first time, Sonya only gave a massage, and the man called Sonya to his room for more many times. The whole time none of them had clothes on.
 
After a couple weeks the man called her to his room again. They both told Sonya not to scream, because the neighbors would hear. When the man raped her, the pain was so great, Sonya could not help it, so she screamed. Then she passed out.
 
This happened over and over and over. Sonya lost so much blood that she became ill and the Khmer woman took her to the hospital and called Sonya’s mother to come and take care of Sonya there. No one ever noticed or asked if Sonya was raped. Sonya told no one. When she was well she was sent back to the American man’s house. He continued to rape Sonya until he lost interest and hired “another cleaner”. Sonya was then sold to a brothel about three hours south, on the beach. She still cannot talk about what happened to her there. That brothel was her worst nightmare, for 3 more years.
 
But that is not the end of Sonya’s story. It’s just the end of her nightmare.
 

At age 13 Sonya was rescued by International Justice Mission and brought to our center. She had never gone to school, never been loved, never told she was worthy of love. Today, she is on her way to America in less than a month to start a new life! She has thrived in our center, and in America, she will have a private tutor and a family who is ready to accept her with loving arms. She knows Jesus. She knows His plan for her. She knows she is free.

Comments (8)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

about team