Today marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This day was officially recognised 11 years ago in 1999, yet women around the world have been celebrating a day of non-violence since 1981. In the few minutes that remain of today, join with me in raising awareness about the millions of women worldwide who are still victim of terrible violence. Information about Australia’s stance can be found at White Ribbon Day. Below the following story I’ve also included a moving video featuring Australian men. In my opinion, standing up for women’s rights is the manliest act a man could do. Please share with your friends and let’s spread this powerful message further!
World Vision shared this story on Facebook today, and I thought I might share it as it shows the positive outcomes of such a human rights abuse.
“Countless women and girls suffer violence daily, and need support just to survive. This astonishing story of Sophea highlights the extent to which violence and ill-treatment is still prevalent around the world.
At just 15, Sophea* was sold into sexual slavery and forced to take drugs that made her an addict. It was a year before she found a means of escape. At 15, Sophea was sold into sex slavery.
Her fiancé’s mother told her there was a great job that paid 3,000 baht (around A$120) a month, so Sophea agreed to try it out. Soon after, she was taken to the Thai border and delivered straight into the waiting clutches of brothel owners. So began Sophea’s year of living hell.
Finding herself dumped and alone in a tiny, filthy room, Sophea realised she had been betrayed. But worse was yet to come. She was forced to have sex with customers repeatedly or be beaten. Instead of being paid she was forced to take drugs, gradually becoming addicted. The torment she suffered is barely imaginable.
Sophea believed that the woman who had left her would eventually come to her rescue. She waited a whole year. No-one came. One day, she plucked up the courage to escape and called her grandmother who then notified the police.
Now at a World Vision-assisted shelter in Cambodia, Sophea finally feels safe. Day by day, she is overcoming her addiction. She is also learning to read and write and dreams of becoming a beauty therapist one day. She still believes her fiance is innocent: “He can’t have known about this, or he would have come to get me,” she says sadly.
*Note: Names have been changed.
For children like Sophea, protection and rehabilitation is essential.
You can make a difference in the life of girls like Sophea. Visithttp://www.saynotoviolence.org/ and sign the online petition to say no to violence.
World Vision’s Child Rescue raises funds to provide rehabilitation and support for children who are at risk of, or have been the victims ofexploitation and abuse. Visthttp://www.worldvision.com.au/OurWork/Solutions/ChildRescue.aspx to learn more out how to help those in vulnerable situations.
“I Swear Video” – featuring some of Australia’s famous men – in sport, comedy, business and in uniform. Do you take this oath?