My name is Maden*, and I’m a 10 year old survivor.
I came to the SHE Rescue Home in 2017 after being sexually exploited. My exploitation occurred while my family was homeless resulting in me being extremely vulnerable. I am 10 years old, but my birth certificate says I am 12. Incorrect birth certificates are common in Cambodia, as making someone older means they can work earlier in life. I bravely testified at my court case and the perpetrators have been jailed or deported.
My parents live in a tent on the streets with my younger sister. My eldest sister (18) also lives with them when she cannot find work. I have 2 other sisters who are currently in care with an organisation that supports vulnerable girls. My social worker is working with organisations that provide support and safe living options to help my family find a home.
In October 2017 Maden* ran away from our care while she was at school, along with her younger sister Pisey* and older sister Danet*. Following their runaway, we learned that they were back in the care of their mother who was homeless. Concerned for their well being, we contacted a partner organisation, DoSAVY, who shared with us they would run a thorough assessment of the sisters living situation with her mother in order to determine if it was dangerous or could be made suitable. While it was not as ideal as having them in our care, we made an agreement with DoSAVY in order to take the sisters on as a client within our Community Based Care Program; a program designed for survivors who may remain in the care of their families, but still demand services in social work, counselling, and general support. Through this program we have ensured Maden*, Pisey* and Danet* are safe, monitor their progress, and came alongside them and their mother to bring strength and sustainability in the ways we’re able to. Sinath, the girls social worker from our care, has remained on the case and was working closely with the mother and family to ensure there are steps taken towards financial health so the family may move from the streets into a rented room.
We have recently found out that their mother was arrested and is now in jail. Despite this, they have stable housing now as found by our Community Care Program.