A Decade of SilenceOthers, Stories , Trafficking
Contributed by: Ratanak International
For ten years, Ny was alone, suffering in silence after she was trafficked into Malaysia at just 16-years old. It all started with rumours. Her village talked of jobs abroad, which would be life-changing for impoverished families like Ny’s.
Her parents were thoughtful and loving, and believed a job overseas would be a great opportunity, so Ny agreed to go.
But Malaysia wasn’t like Ny expected.
Immediately, she was stripped of her belongings and her phone was taken away. Without it, she had no way to call her family or ask for help.
She was forced to perform severely exhausting work, endlessly and without pay—first as a domestic house slave and later in a bakery.
Ny was resold and relocated, but her situation never improved. Her captors starved her. No one spoke Khmer. Escape was impossible…and she was alone.
Each day, her stomach was in pain, and she was always watching for danger. She had to be.
One of her captors was a vile man who bought her as a housemaid. He tried to slip pills into her food. It was clear to Ny that he wanted to rape her, so whenever she saw him touch her food, she went hungry.
As his attempts to drug her increased, Ny begged the broker to help. She felt intense relief when she was moved to another location, but her new tormentors soon began to viciously beat her.
For years, she endured the physical, verbal and emotional abuses alone, in complete isolation. Her only comfort was returning home to her family in dreams.
Then, one day, Ny saw a chance to escape—and she ran. Though her lungs thirsted for air and her legs ached for rest, she ran until she reached a train station. And there stood a Cambodian woman—an answer to prayer!
This woman helped Ny find transport to the Cambodian-Thai border. She arrived at the Poipet Transitional Centre and then was referred to Ratanak. In our transitional home, Ratanak staff greeted Ny with a special welcome package to help her feel loved and safe.
With support from Ratanak, Ny is receiving counselling to help heal her deep traumas. She now feels comfortable accessing medical care for her ongoing stomach pain. Thanks to the compassion and care shown by Ratanak staff, Ny has started to open up, trust and build emotional connections.
During a group reflection, she shared, “Since I was born, no one has treated me better or taken better care of me than my parents and the staff at Ratanak.”
Her growing faith has also brought her comfort and strength. She started attending worship services in church with our care team and prayer has become a part of her healing journey, “When I could not sleep, I prayed, and then I could sleep well,” she says.
Ny longed to see her family again, but after many years she had forgotten where they lived. It took two months of dedicated searching from our team, but we finally located them in a new province—they had moved!
On the day of reunion, Ny was excited, but also afraid. After dreaming of reuniting, she wondered, “Will they accept me?”
Her fears vanished when her mother ran and threw her arms around Ny and they both sobbed with joy. It was a beautiful moment to witness and your partnership made this long awaited reunion possible for this precious family.
All those years, her parents didn’t even know if Ny was alive. Her mother said, “I never heard from her…I never thought she would come back. Seeing her again is a great joy.”
Thanks to you, Ratanak gave Ny’s family a food package, and we’re continuing to support Ny along her healing journey. She is no longer isolated and alone. She is surrounded by many who love her.
Today, she dreams of raising chickens as a small family business, and with help from Ratanak supporters like you, that dream will soon come true.
You can read the rest of our E-newsletter at: www.ratanak.org/news
*Names, images and/or some details have been altered as appropriate to protect the identities of those in our care.