What is the life situation that results in someone being sold by their own family into slavery? Are modern day slaves people who have chosen a fringe life and then get stuck there? Have you thought much about modern day slavery? How does someone get trapped? What does it take to get out? How does someone in a sex slave environment climb out and reach a point where they can reach back and help others? It’s happening and we are engaged in the battle to see that it happens more. Let me introduce you to my friend Sok (not actual name).
As an orphan child, he was cared for by his already impoverished aunt who had children of her own – two girls slightly older than Sok. Poverty and no education were circumstances his aunty could not overcome by usual means. She was poor, very poor. In their village the schools required students to pay each day they entered the classroom. No money – very harsh treatment from the teacher and no school that day. There was never money for school. The waters were low in the rivers and fish ponds and the heat was intense so there were no fish too eat. The same drought conditions caused rice paddies to go dry and there were no rice planting jobs to earn a meager living. So there would be no harvest – no food. They would go hungry. The animals were starving and could find no water either. Conditions were bleak. But this was what every year’s dry season was like. Always, six sometimes seven months there was no rain.
In order to survive, Sok went to a pagoda and began training to be a monk. He was there more than 10 years. Monks could go door to door and even the most starving household would have to give them food even if only a morsel. But it was more than what was at home and it reduced the burden on his aunty.
Remember the two girls, Sok’s cousins? Things finally got very desperate and without food aunty encouraged the girls to go to a local KTV (local karaoke/night club) where they could earn some money if they sold themselves to men who for a few dollars could touch them at will, for a few more dollars could hold them and touch them any way they desired and for a few dollars more………… Every day. Continue reading