This post showcases survivor Somaly Mam who has now become an activist for Human Trafficking. Mam was raised in Cambodia in extreme poverty. Being forced to live in such conditions created a desperation for survival. Mam and her family were willing to do anything to obtain basic needs. Mam was sold into the sex slavery by a man who posed as her grandfather. To this day, Mam still does not know who this man actually was and what his actual relation was with her.
After being sold, Mam was forced to reside in a brothel where she was sexually abused and tortured daily. During this period she witnessed the murder of her best friend. In fear of the possibility of them murdering her, she escaped from the brothel. She now dedicates her life to helping victims becoming survivors and educating society about trafficking.
In 1996, Mam established a Cambodian non-governmental organization called AFESIP (Agir Pour les Femmes en Situation Precaire). This organization works to rescue victims as well as helps restore their lives as they begin to rebuild their lives.
Although Mam has helped several people she was has faced threats against herself and her family.
This is another example of why you have to be careful when you try to work in prevention or awareness in trafficking!
People often ask me if I am scared of being harmed by being an activist against human trafficking. My response is similar to Mam’s:
I am not scared because I know I am helping people and doing what God has instructed me to do. How could I be scared with God as my courage?