My name is Chantha*, and I’m a 15 year old survivor.
Chantha’s* Reintegration Story
Chantha* came into the care of the SHE Rescue Home when she was 14 years old following sexual exploitation that occurred in her community. Three perpetrators are in prison while two others remain on the run. She was previously studying in grade 7, however, stopped attending school in order to help her family. When the sexual exploitation occurred, Chantha* was living with her mother, father, grandmother, and two younger siblings. Her grandmother is bedridden, demands full-time care, and is looked after by Chantha’s* parents who also work full-time selling fish in order to make a living. While she was at the SHE Rescue Home, Chantha* was able to return to school and began grade 7. Chantha’s* social workers worked closely with her family in order to teach them about child protection and equip them with better practices preceding Chantha’s* reintegration. The goal was that once Chantha’s* court case was closed and the perpetrators prosecuted, her social worker’s would begin the process of reintegration.
However, earlier this year housemothers from our home arrived at school to pick Chantha* up and she was nowhere to be found. Our housemothers searched the school, surrounding areas, and contacted authorities but she could not be found. Later, a girl from the home informed us that she had spotted Chantha* on the back of a motorbike with a boy. The next day one of our housemothers also spotted her in a market with a boy. Both times, she disappeared quicker than we were able to locate her.
We heard from her a week later and she informed us that she was safe and living with her family in the province. We immediately had our social workers, counsellors, and government officials conduct a family visit to ensure her environment was safe and sustainable for longterm health and safety. Since then, she has remained safe with her family who is stable and able to provide for her. She is enrolled in school and helps her family sell fish when she is not studying. Her social workers continue to maintain a relationship with her to ensure she is safe, and Chantha’s* counsellors are available should she or her family need any emotional support.