Breaking Free from Exploitation to Find Empowerment

Others, Exploitation , Trafficking

Contributed by: Ratanak International


Sothea was working as a waitress when a former coworker contacted her with the offer of marrying a rich Chinese man. Desperate to provide for her mother and son, she agreed. 

It wasn’t until she was with her “husband” she realized she had been sold. After months of captivity, she finally managed to escape. Though police detained her for illegal immigration, it was the miracle she needed. 

After returning to Cambodia, she was referred to Ratanak. When Sothea arrived at our transitional home, she barely spoke. She felt ashamed of coming home empty-handed and struggled with severe depression. 

Thanks to donors like you, Sothea was not alone. She was welcomed with love into our transitional home, and stayed for a year and a half. There, she attended regular therapy to deal with her depression and began to talk about her experiences and work through her trauma. 

When she was ready to return home, she received a food package to help her transition back into her community. Her family also received education on sanitation, greatly improving their health.

With career counselling, Sothea discovered her desire to run a small business. To turn this dream into reality, she was provided with financial support and a motorbike, enabling her to sell fruit at the market. She was also equipped with financial management skills, crucial for her business and savings. 

Today, Sothea can work safely and provide for her mother and son. She even recently married and gave birth to a healthy baby! 

“My husband and I thank Ratanak for supporting my mental health and business. For always listening to me and encouraging me to talk about the hurtful experiences I hid for many years,” Sothea said. 

Thank you for giving her a new beginning and filling her family’s future with promise.

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*Names, images and or/some details have been altered as appropriate to protect the identities of those in our care.