Hope in Action
When a young child is sexually exploited their childhood is ripped away from them and the injustice makes way for great feelings of shame they were never created to bear, nor do they have the ability to understand. This violating and unjust act not only destroys their trust in others, but often destroys their sense of self-worth. In a single moment a child’s’ entire world can become a dark and scary place, ushering in feelings of isolation and fear as people who once stood to protect them become the very places of pain. As this occurs a sense of childlike innocence is often replaced with self protection mechanisms, defenses, anger, and self hatred. We exist to continually declare it’s not ok.
Not long ago a young girl named Sotheavy* entered our care. As she came into the SHE Rescue Home she exemplified all the symptoms demonstrating great pain and destruction of self worth. She was withdrawn, easily angered, and could not connect with peers due to a complete lack of trust in any relationship. She blamed herself for her exploitation, and unfortunately, her mother did as well. This is not uncommon, as feelings of great pain and sadness often display themselves in grave hurt as victims and families attempt to draw conclusions for things the human heart was not created to find a place for.
Fortunately, through our many years we’ve learned one hope-filled truth: desperation and feelings of worthlessness are not the end, but merely the beginning. Through it all we’ve come to find restoration and hopeis possible, and is our standard for every survivor and family that enters into one of our projects existing to bring healing and freedom to every hurting heart.
In just 7 months Sotheavy* has reclaimed a sense of self worth. She understands her life holds great value and that she was created with purpose, for purpose. Through diligence and great love she has learned she can trust others, and as a result, has formed meaningful, true friendships within the home and school and is beginning to exemplify self confidence and leadership! She is young and her story ongoing, but we’re encouraged all over again, by the resilience of the human spirit. We were created to overcome – a conclusion we cannot escape from as we watch survivor after survivor reclaim a sense of self worth, combat the scheme of shame, and rise – writing beauty from what was once a pile of ash. It’s the story we’re forever writing, and learning the most beautiful of stories rise up from places once broken.