Help a Trafficking Survivor Heal From Her Trauma

by Lotus Outreach
Help a Trafficking Survivor Heal From Her Trauma
Help a Trafficking Survivor Heal From Her Trauma
Help a Trafficking Survivor Heal From Her Trauma
Help a Trafficking Survivor Heal From Her Trauma
Help a Trafficking Survivor Heal From Her Trauma
Help a Trafficking Survivor Heal From Her Trauma
Help a Trafficking Survivor Heal From Her Trauma
Help a Trafficking Survivor Heal From Her Trauma
Chakrya with a counselor
Chakrya with a counselor

As the first report in 2016, we will take some time to recap some of the milestones in 2015. The Counseling and Reintegration Program has made great leads! There were a total of 127 survivors, along with their relatives, that arrived at the shelter for care in 2015. In comparison to the last few years, in 2015, most all of the sexual abuse cases were taken to court and perpetrators were put into custody. In 2015, 34 survivors were reintegrated to their communities which included 14 domestic violence cases, 7 sexual abuse cases, and 13 human trafficking cases. 10 individuals received professional training to prepare them for small business grants. The following is a story of a Chakrya, a survivor rape. 

Chakrya* is from Thmar Pouk District in Banteay Meanchey where she lived with her mother and father and her younger siblings. Her parents migrated to Thailand to look for work and so Chakrya was sent to live with her older sister (20 years old) and her husband (26 years old). While Chakrya was staying with her sister, her sister's husband broke into her room one night and raped her on 3rd of October 2015. He then told her that he would kill her if she told anyone. Her brother in law raped her twice, once at night and once during the day. Chakrya was afraid to tell anyone about what had happened but fortunately she was very brave and spoke to her mothers’s close friend and neighbor (who she calls Aunty). Once her mother found out, she called the police station and filed a report.

The police acted quickly and arrested the brother in law. The District Based Multi Sectoral Network member (the policeman who works closely with CWCC) contacted CWCC on 7th of October to advise them of the case. With the local authorities working closely with CWCC, they were able to intervene quickly. On the 8th of October, the Community Organizing Officer and the Monitoring Officer from CWCC went to the police station to enquire about the details of the case and to meet with Chakrya. She was referred to the Referral Hospital to undergo a full medical check-up including a test for STD’s. On the 9th October Chakrya was brought to the shelter to stay.

At the shelter, Chakrya was not feeling comfortable at first because she didn’t know anyone. The shelter focused on building trust with Chakrya with joint counseling and group activities with other clients. She joined the small and large group counseling. In those groups she was incouraged to share stories, produce souvenirs, and paint and draw pictures. She began to feel more at ease. Her mother also returned back from Thailand to visit her, and her father called her from Thailand to check in on her.

The CWCC is helping to prosecute the brother in law by providing a lawyer for the case. Chakrya has to attend the court to give evidence and CWCC ensures that she is accompanied by a counselor. Along with the medical evidence provided, the brother in law has confessed to his crimes and is awaiting his sentence. CWCC believes that justice will be served in this case.

When Chakrya lived with her parents and then her sister, she was unable to attend school as they could not afford it. Since coming to the shelter, Chakrya has started to attend school and says “I really like school and I want to study”.

In her free time after school Chakrya likes to play games with her friends. She likes to play on the playground at the shelter and she loves drawing pictures. Chakrya stated, “I like staying here because I feel happy and not scared and all the staff here look after me.”

Thank you to all of the donors who have supported the Counseling and Reintegration Program. Chakrya has had all of the support that she has needed during this difficult time. She continues to grow and make strides towards health.

Chakrya* is a name given by the writer. Her real name is hidden to protect her privacy in according to the Cambodian National child protection policy 

Small group counseling
Small group counseling
Group play at the shelter
Group play at the shelter
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Counselor accompanies a survivor for a home visit.
Counselor accompanies a survivor for a home visit.

The Counseling and Reintegration Program continues to work with survivors of sexual assault and human trafficking. From January to September our two counselors spent time providing 74 individual counseling sessions to 31 survivors. Of that 31, 17 were survivors of human trafficking, 3 were survivors of sexual abuse, and 11 were survivors of domestic abuse. In this time frame the counselors also accompanied 4 clients to court proceedings and trials. Since September the counselors have also attended a refresher course that discussed new techniques for counseling.

Currently our Reintegration program is working with 22 survivors on creating a plan to return to their communities. Our Reintegration team has reintegrated 11 survivors and 3 relatives back into their communities since September. They also followed up on 45 cases making sure the clients were safe and happy back in their communities.

The following is a story about Reaksa's survival and her efforts to create a better life:

Reaksa*, aged 15 was born in Pursat province. Due to family poverty her family moved to Banteay Meanchey in 2014. Her father has since passed away and her mother at age 45 is unemployed. She is the fifth of six children. Reaska stayed in school up to the third grade.

On the 28th of September 2014, Reaksa was drugged by her rapist who secretly put medicine in her food. She was sleepy immediately after eating and was then sexually assaulted. When she awoke she was naked and very frightened. On the 3rd of October 2014, Reasksa told her mother about the incident and her mother accompanied her to file a complaint against the rapist with the district police on the 6th of October 2014.

On the 17th of October 2014, her mother accompanied her to ask for legal and social support services from CWCC including temporary residence at the shelter. At the shelter, she received good care from the counselors and shelter staff. There, she received accommodation, meals, clothing, necessary materials for girls, counseling, health care, and legal counseling and representation. After a few months Reaksa felt warmth and relief.

Due to her request and readiness to return back home, the reintegration staff had conducted a family assessment on the 6th of January 2015 and decided together that she could reintegrate home. On the 12th of January 2015, Reaksa was reintegrated back home in Banteay Meanchey and provided with life start-up support. The reintegration staff continued to follow up with her after reintegration.

During her stay at the shelter, Reaksa, her mother and the reintegration staff discussed about a possible business for Reaksa and her family. Her family is very poor and have all been living in one room that they rent. After the reintegration took place, Reaksa and her family came up with an idea of requesting a small business grant to buy a pulling cart to start a business at the Poipet international border.

The reintegration staff helped Reaksa and her family to develop a small business grant and it was then approved by CWCC. With the amount of $400 US dollars, a small grant was disbursed to her on the 25th of February 2015. Reaksa and her family can now buy a big pulling cart which they could earn between 200 to 300 Thai baht per day. With this earning, they could survive for their daily consumptions and room rental.

The Reintegration program has followed up three times since June 2015. The reintegration staff will continue to follow up to see her and her families progress.

Reaksa’s*  real name is hidden to protect her privacy in according to child protection policy of CWCC.

A counselor organizes group play for survivors
A counselor organizes group play for survivors
A survivor receives life start-up support.
A survivor receives life start-up support.
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Dana in jean jacket. Blurred to protect identity.
Dana in jean jacket. Blurred to protect identity.

Hello supporters of CWCC!

Since the last report, CWCC counselors have provided a total of 142 individual counseling sessions to 32 clients. With regular meetings, the counselors have noted that the survivors have had a durastically postitive change of their overall well being. Below is a story of a young girl who is receiving care and support from CWCC, here is Dana's story. 

Dana*, one of the recent survivors of sexual abuse at CWCC, is 15 years old. She is the middle child of three siblings. Dana was born in Prey Veng province. Due to poverty, her father moved to Battambang province to work as cook for wedding events. Dana also moved to stay in Phnom Penh and worked as t-shirt artist. She was earning a very small wage that that would not meet her simple everyday needs so she was forced to move to Poipet in January 2015. In Poipet she made more money as a toilet cleaner at Longkleu market in Aranhyaprathet district, Thailand. Dana rented a room at Longkleu market and stayed and worked.

Late at night in February, Dana was raped in her apartment. Her room was locked but the rapist had the key to unlock it. "He threatened me not to shout if I wanted life. I dared not to shout for help", Dana was quoted when recalling the incident during counseling.

After the incident, Dana told her neighbor and aunt about the rape and they told her to report the case to the Poipet police. The police then referred Dana to the CWCC to stay at the safe shelter where she could recover and receive legal support.

Dana experienced a lot of fear and discomfort during the first few days at the CWCC. She said she was very homesick and missed her family. Dana was worried about her court case and was afraid of reprisal from the rapist. The counselors reported that she looked very sad and depressed and liked being alone. She couldn’t concentrate and wanted to go home. After receiving counseling from the CWCC and building relationships with her counselors, she was able to reflect on her strengths and reduce her own stress. She was able to start healing from her trauma through participation in small and large group counseling and meetings. The counselors conducted regular follow-up on Dana’s progress. To reduce her homesick, Dana was accompanied by a CWCC counselor to visit her family and home.

Dana is currently staying in the shelter. She is now healthy both physical and emotionally. She has a good relationship with other survivors and shows her bravery in her ability to speak about her incident with friend and counselors at the shelter. Currently she is attending a sewing class at the shelter. CWCC will continue to take care of her and follow up on her case.

CWCC wishes to express its gratitude to all of its donors who belive in their mission and who continiously allow survivors like Dana to heal from their trauma. 

 Dana*is a name given by the writer. Her real name is hidden to protect her privacy in according to child protection policy of CWCC. The photos are blurred to protect privacy.

Survivor releases stress with art project.
Survivor releases stress with art project.
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Phallis, a counselor at the Reintegration Program
Phallis, a counselor at the Reintegration Program

CTC (Consoling Through Counseling) is a program designed to reintegrate and console survivors of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, rape, trafficking, and exploitation. By facilitating discussion, support, and activities, CTC works with the survivors to process their traumas. CTC supports these women as they shed their shame and guilt. CTC then reintegrates the women into their families and communities by making sure the process is done correctly and safely. These women attend support groups and continue to have services to help them along the ongoing process of healing.  

Phyma (who’s name has been changed to protect her identity) is a survivor of trafficking who has returned from Malaysia to her home in Cambodia. She is from a family of 6 siblings and lives in the Battambang province.

Phyma's family was living in severe poverty whiched forced her to migrate legally to Malaysia two times in search of work, both in 2007 and in 2011. The second time she migrated in 2011, she found herself in serious trouble.

This time, Phyma found a job working as a domestic helper receiving a wage of 800 ringgits a month (US$266). The wife of the house owner started to get jealous of Phyma and routinely would not allow her to eat meals. She fled from this job and became an undocumented worker. She found herself a new job as a domestic helper and faced even worse circumstances. Phyma was raped and became pregnant. She found out that the house owner intended to sell her into a brothel. Phyma said, “I had mental problem at that time. I did not know what I said. And sometimes took off my clothes…” Phyma took the opportunity to escape and found a way to cross the border from Malaysia to Thailand where she met IOM and was referred to CWCC (Cambodia Women’s Crisis Center) for help.

Phyma met with CWCC’s to identify her case. She was given shelter in Banteay Meanchey for proper services before returning home. At first in the shelter she said was scared and was afraid to speak. She alienated herself and experienced depression. She did not take care of her personal hygiene and felt that ghosts were haunting her.

With the help and guidance of a caring counselor, Phyma worked hard to overcome the obstacles that were keeping her recovering from her sexual abuse and rape. The counselor listened carefully to Phyma and encouraged her to draw pictures and express her fears and hatred in a safe environment. Through this technique of art therapy, Phyma began to reflect on her own feelings and began to improve.

With great courage and strength, Phyma showed great strides towards living a happy life again. She said that she was finally loving herself again and taking care of her pregnancy. Her dreams of ghosts and abuse have started to fade with time, and new dreams for her future are emerging. With the assistance of CWCC’s reintegration project, Phyma has made the transition of moving back home to her family. Currently she is living happily with her newborn. With your support and the assistance and services provided by CTC, Phyma continues to follow up with the program and shows a promising future for her and her child. 

Art therapy project produced at the CTC program
Art therapy project produced at the CTC program
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Sokny, Senior Counselor of CTC
Sokny, Senior Counselor of CTC

In the past year, the Consoling Through Counseling (CTC) program has consoled and assisted in the psychological healing process of 132 women and girls including 20 cases of sexual abuse, 16 of them children under 18. Two compassionate counselors, Bun Sokny and Prak Phallis, look after a huge caseload between them. It’s common for counselors to take on the trauma of their patients so Lotus Outreach has therefore made provisions for them to take regular visits to the capital, Phnom Penh, where they are professionally de-stressed.

This report tells the story of 19 year-old SL (name withheld) and her process of emotion healing during her time at the confidential CTC shelter. SL does not remember where exactly she comes from in Cambodia, but she lived in Thailand for a year and worked in a beverage shop in Pailin town. During that time, she worked very hard and helped even with the heavy lifting, though all was well. One time, however, she went to a music concert and drank beer with her friends and got drunk.

On her way home, someone on a motto abducted and drugged her. She woke at 3am with no clothes on and did not remember anything.

She went back to work and could not get up for a few days, because she was so sick and badly drugged. She got pregnant from the rape and she discovered this harrowing news almost 5 months after the incident. SL was then sent to social affairs and eventually referred to our CTC program.

When SL first arrived she was scared, hopeless and ashamed of herself for being raped and pregnant. On arrival the counselor met SL and began the process of building trust as part of integration into the program. SL attended formal counseling on a one to one basis twice a month and also attended the large and small group therapy meetings. The counselor continued to build trust in the one to one sessions before choosing what kind of approach she would take to help reduce SL’s trauma. They began to use art therapy along with talk therapy, while SL built more confidence in group therapy.

As SL settled and relaxed the counselor recapped her progresses to show SL how she was developing psychologically. SL was not at all connected to the idea of the keeping baby in the first session, but after giving birth and through continued therapy, she has now started to connect to the baby and declared she intended to raise it herself. After the birth she stated,

“I have seen his face and want to keep my baby.” For the moment, she has requested to stay in the shelter a bit longer until she feels ready to go out and support herself and her child.

The counselor reflects that SL is still in the shelter and seems to now notice others have problems also and feel empathy with the other survivors. Also she noted that SL was very sensitive and cried as soon as she was asked about the baby in the first session, but is now stronger and remains fully committed to looking after the child.

Her family had not contacted her up to the time she was raped. They have since left Pailin and SL still doesn’t know where they have gone. When we met SL at the shelter she had a radiant smile and seemed very positive and hopeful. We would not have guessed what she had endured if we hadn’t been told her background. Her child is beautiful and healthy and seems to have helped transform SL with the love she now feels for her one-month old baby.

Counselor, SL, baby, and another victim (left)
Counselor, SL, baby, and another victim (left)

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Lotus Outreach

Location: Ojai, California - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @lotusoutreach
Project Leader:
Maya Norbu
Ojai, CA United States
$27,562 raised of $30,000 goal
 
627 donations
$2,438 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Lotus Outreach has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.