Content Warning: Report contains sexual assault
Srey Nuch* is 12 years old, in the second grade. When her parents recently divorced, she chose to live with her mother. Soon after, both of her parents were remarried and her stepfather came to live with Srey and her mother. Srey Nuch immediately felt uncomfortable around her stepfather, she found him staring at her frequently and he would make physical contact that she was uneasy with.
One day, Srey Nuch’s mother went to work and she was left alone with her stepfather. He forced himself on Srey and raped her. This happened three times. Srey was helpless and terrified, but each time, he threatened to kill her if she told anyone. Scared for her life, Srey Nuch hid the incidents from everyone, including her mother. A few weeks later, her stepfather had a dispute with a neighbor. Srey, witnessing his behaviour and unable to endure another attack, decided to tell her mother about what had happened. Srey Nuch’s mother immediately reported her husband to the police, and the family received an intervention from local authorities. He was arrested by the police and sent to court, while Srey Nuch was sent to our safe shelter for protection and healing.
When Srey Nuch arrived at the shelter, she felt uneasy in the new environment and told her mother that she wished to return home after getting her health examination results. Her mother persuaded Srey to stay at the shelter with other girls rather than being home alone while she was away at work. Srey Nuch agreed to stay at the shelter but was understandably downtrodden and missed her mother.
After a few sessions, counselors began to notice a change in Srey Nuch’s behavior. She started to connect more with people around her and attended group counseling and weekly meetings. She started opening up about her past with her peers. At the court date, Srey spoke in front of the judge and all present for the trial. Her case closed with her stepfather, the perpetrator, being sentenced to nine years in jail. Srey Nuch is staying at the safe shelter, continuing to heal with the support of counselors and other community members and has enrolled in a public school nearby as well. We are confident that Srey has the support she needs to move forward in a healthy environment.
Thank you for your support.
Srey Nuch* is a name given by the writer. Her real name is hidden to protect her privacy in accordance with the child protection policy.