My name is Sokha* and I was born in Phnom Penh. Our family didn’t have much but we were happy. My mother worked in the factory and my father was a driver. I was in school and doing okay. But one event changed my life forever.
This is Sokha’s Story
I was abused by a foreigner when I was 16 years old. Being the only son in our family, I was full of shame.
Hagar heard about me and supported me through my journey. I had counsellors and mentors who talked me through my problems and were there for me when I needed anything. They also helped me get through my court case, which ended successfully.
My perpetrator was sentenced to 14 months in prison.
My parents decided that we needed to move to another town to get away from all the stigma and discrimination. At first, I was very anxious and unhappy. I did not want to go to school. I lived with fear and shame every day. I feared my neighbours would find out about my story. But my family’s love and support encouraged me to move forward. Hagar also helped me get through my fears and supported me in every way.
Today, I’m no longer afraid. I am studying in 8th Grade at a public school. I try to learn more and more so I can reach the next level. My ultimate dream is to become the best musician in the country, a person who is beneficial to my family and society.
“I used to think that my life had no value…and that’s the reason I was abused. Now I know that no matter what happened in the past, I am valuable.”
Sokha, survivor of sexual abuse by a foreigner.
*Hagar pursues the highest degree of care and protection for its clients; names have been changed and images do not necessarily reflect the individual profiled.