Former Pastor Helping Over 700 Cambodian Sex Trafficking Victims, 13-Year-Old Girls Sold by Their Mothers for Rape

A former pastor in Cambodia says that his organization has helped over 700 sex trafficking victims, including 13-year-old girls who have been sold by their own mothers and raped.

Agape International Missions has been on the frontlines of helping women and girls in the poverty-stricken country, said Don Brewster, a U.S. citizen and former pastor.

In a CNN report on Tuesday, a girl named Sephak said she was only 13 years old when she was sold for sex by her mother.

“She was taken to a hospital, issued a certificate confirming her virginity, and then taken to a hotel room where a she was raped for days. She was returned home after three nights,” according to CNN.

The girl’s mother, Ann, says that she sold her daughter for $800 because the family had debts to pay, and she saw no alternative.

The mother later pressured Sephak to work in a brothel, but says that she regrets her decisions now.

Sephak has since joined AIM as a worker, helping other survivors earn money making bracelets and clothing.

“Today, I feel much more stability than before. Not a lot of stability, but enough,” says Sephak. “Now I have a decent job. I really want other people to have the kind of work that I have.”

Sephak said that it’s difficult to understand how a mother can sell her child.

“They don’t have money, so they make their daughters work,” she said.

“Even now, I see a lot of mothers who don’t understand the feelings of their daughters. They don’t understand that their daughters have hearts, that they suffer.”

Brewster added that the focal point of sexual trafficking in Cambodia is taking place in Svay Pak, a fishing village on the outskirts of the capital of Phnom Penh.

Families there reportedly earn less than a dollar a day, which drives them to desperation.

“When we talk about child sex trafficking, this was at one point the epicenter,” Brewster said.

“We would say when we came [to Svay Pak] it was 100 percent — if you were a girl born here, you were going to be trafficked. We would say today it’s significantly below 50 percent.”

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SOURCE: The Christian Post – Stoyan Zaimov

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