I don't want to remember my story. It is too painful

28
Dec

I don’t want to remember my story. It is too painful

Srey Leap [given name] –  Srey Leap’s travel to China was facilitated through a local broker who lived in the same village as her. At the time, Srey Leap was very young and still studying at high school. The broker went to Srey Leap’s house and spoke to her mother. The broker told Srey Leap’s mother that if Srey Leap was to travel to China and find a Chinese husband, she could earn a higher wage to help support her family than if she stayed in Cambodia. Srey Leap was asked by her mother whether she wanted to go. Srey Leap replied that she needed to earn a higher wage to help support their poor family and she decided to migrate to China. Approximately twenty other women along with Srey Leap travelled to China.

Each of these women travelled to China for the same purpose – to find higher-paying jobs to support their families back in Cambodia. When they arrived in China, the women were picked up and taken to another room which Srey Leap described as having many mirrors in it. A few hours later, Chinese men came and offered prices to purchase the woman of their choice.

By this point, Srey Leap and the other women with her knew that they had been trafficked for purchase by Chinese men, but they had no means of escape.

Srey Leap was sold to a man with serious mental health issues who lived in a rural area in China. She suffered torture at the hands of both her husband and his parents. Often, she was beaten with steel implements to the point of unconsciousness. Once, she was stabbed in both her eyes with chopsticks.

Srey Leap initially did not tell her mother or any of her family about what was happening to her. She felt embarrassed at the fact that she did not have any money to send back to her family and feared what her neighbours would say about her. After the chopstick incident, however, she told her mother everything that had happened to her.

After her family received this information, Srey Leap’s mother received an information card from on person who knew of CLEC and called us to help. At the time, her family felt hopeless and unable to rescue their daughter.

After receiving information from Srey Leap, we notified a Chinese contact of ours who had been a participant in a workshop in Thailand with Dy The Hoya who in turn notified her family in China to assist Srey Leap. Srey Leap travelled three days by bus and train from this family to reach the Cambodian Consulate in Guangzhou. When she arrived at the consulate, she was dismissed by an official who threatened to return her to her husband. Srey Leap told the consulate officer that she would prefer to die there and then than return to her Chinese husband. She told the consulate officer that she had attempted to escape her husband’s family three times and had been severely tortured by him and his family after the police returned her to him.

We sent an intervention letter to the Consulate in Guangzhou through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Following receipt of this letter,  was rescued safely and repatriated to Cambodia.

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