Rana’s harrowing story of being trafficked mirrors the plight of millions of Southeast Asian women.
Rana (name changed to protect survivor privacy) grew up in an impoverished family in rural Cambodia. When her best friend promised her a good job in China, she jumped at the chance. She was going to be a “good daughter” and help her family.
But when she arrived in China, her best friend sold her to a Chinese man to be his “wife.” He was cruel and abusive.
“He didn’t love me,” she said. “All he wanted was a baby.”
As Rana tells her story, there is a fire in her eyes and passion in her voice as it crackles with emotion. After months of abuse at the hands of her husband, Rana fled. She ran back to her friend in search of help and support. But instead of freedom, she was sold again to another man.
This nightmare lasted an entire year.
When Rana finally managed to escape to the local police for refuge, she was sent to a detention center for illegal immigrants.
Thankfully, that’s not where the story ends.
Through Hagar’s trusted relationship with Cambodia’s Ministry of Social Affairs, Rana was repatriated to Cambodia by the Chinese police and referred to Hagar. She arrived at our door with nothing but the clothes on her back and a haunted look in her eyes.
It was a long road of intensive work with counselors, social workers, and a loving house mother who stayed up at night consoling her as she cried herself to sleep. A team of lawyers helped Rana seek legal action against her friend.
Today, Rana has reintegrated with dignity to her family and community. Because of her courageous witness, her trafficker was charged and imprisoned. And because of her own tenacity and the dedicated support she received from Hagar, she is using her voice to help other young women stay safe.
“Hagar provided help so I can survive,” she says. “I am not afraid of telling my story to help other people.”
Support Rana and other women like her with the gift of freedom.