Warning: Story content may disturb readers. Image changed to protect identity.
When Chanthavy was seven days old, her mother took her across the border to Cambodia and left her with her grandmother. Her mother returned three years later and tried to “sell” her daughter to a man. After three days, her grandmother found her and had her mother arrested. The bond Chanthavy and her grandmother have is strong and achingly beautiful. When Chanthavy was 15, one of her cousins told her about a job outside the city where she’d be paid a good salary and given annual leave to see her grandmother. As soon as she arrived at the new job, her cousin left. She was forced to work in this new family’s house and at their market stall. She was never paid for her work.
One day her boss raped her. This happened many times. He was an evil man and did this to other girls. When she became pregnant with his child, he accused her of theft and gossiping and horribly beat her. When the boss’s wife found out about the pregnancy, she sedated Chanthavy and had her raped by three men to hide the father’s identity.
By the time Chanthavy was freed, she’d tried to escape many times and survived a murder attempt on both her and her son. She’d given up all hope of a life worth living, but she found a phone and rang our partner’s hotline.
Chanthavy was brought to a safe house where she was given a place to stay, education, counselling and care for her wellbeing and future. She loves her son and wants to give him all the chances she never had. "We are pursuing the prosecution of her former boss."
Chanthavy’s hope is to live with her precious grandmother again, but for now, she is safe and will remain in care until she is strong enough to begin rebuilding her life.
Story told by our local partner