In 2015, Somphors was working on the Thai-Cambodian border as a beer promoter in a night club. She had been forced to leave her children in another Cambodian province while she worked there and did all she could to financially support them from a distance. Her eagerness to make money to support her children made her vulnerable to the lies of a human trafficker who approached her. Her Aunt’s friend told Somphors that she could be paid $2000 USD to be married to a Chinese man with some money being paid to her now and the full agreed amount being given to her when she was in China. Somphors later said:
“I was so happy at first when I heard that I was selected to get married to the Chinese man with some cash to my family.”
Little did she know the severity of the abuse that lay ahead.
In 2016, Somphors arrived in China and did not know any of the places or how to communicate. This was the beginning of her nightmare. She would later describe how her husband essentially treated her like a sex slave, forcing her to have sex even when her health wasn’t good. She was severely abused and isolated and endured this treatment for two years before jumping out of the window of the house she was in. She called for support from the local Police and the Cambodian Embassy in China and other local NGO’s worked to get her back to Cambodia.
After receiving her referral, and in partnership with other organisations, Hagar then worked to help Somphors get the medical treatment that she needed to heal from the physical injuries resulting from the severe sexual abuse she had endured. Hagar’s team also did counselling with Somphors to help her begin to overcome the trauma of her experiences and her Case Manager also helped her to settle back into living in Cambodia.
“I was so lucky to receive the support and services from Hagar. I have been working with Hagar’s staff and I have been better from day to day.”
As well as providing her with the services she needed to overcome her trauma, the Hagar Economic Empowerment team and her Case Manager, worked with Somphors to help her develop the skills she would need for employment and provided vocational training at a salon. Hagar also provided her with food assistance until she got a job in her community. Somphors later described that without Hagar’s support, her life would be nothing.
Somphors has recently remarried and her new husband supports her and their family. She is now a housewife and enjoys looking after her family and home. Seeing Somphors well looked after and established, Hagar celebrated with Somphors as they closed her case.
Our Hagar staff in Cambodia said this about Somphors:
“Through Hagar’s support and coordination with the development partners, Somphors is able to live in her community to make her life better and thrive in her own country. Her life has been transformed and recovered from trauma through support from Hagar.”
Somphors is truly an example of what the long-term love and support of Hagar donors and staff can achieve in a person’s life. Together, we have seen transformation!
Hagar pursues the highest degree of care and protection for each of its clients. To protect the identity of our clients, names have been changed and images do not necessarily represent the individual profiled.