Monday, November 9, 2009

Somaly Mam's book: The Road of Lost Innocence


"As a girl she was sold into sexual slavery, but now she rescues others. The true story of a Cambodian heroine." (Amazon quote)

I came across this book and knowledge of this particular woman(Somaly Mam), via a post on a blog that I stumbled upon in my insomniac rounds on the net, Ocean Hopping: NY to London: Innocence and Innocence Lost . The small excerpt I read from that post sent me reeling. It was horrible to imagine any human being going through this, most of all an innocent child. I will be buying this book and getting more acquainted with her story, here is the small excerpt I read on that blog:

My punishment was harsh, but the way they punish prostitutes today is far worse than anything I ever had to suffer. When I was with Aunt Peuve, except for that one time with electricity, the punishment was mainly beatings and our own fear - things like snakes. Now, I see girls in brothels with nails hammered into their skulls. That sounds unbelievable, but we have photos. Girls are chained and beaten with electric cables. They go mad. We've rescued several children from brothels who have completely lost their minds..Recently, some dead girls were found in the sewer of a brothel: they had drowned. Another time, after a fire, the police found several girl's bodies, still chained up. They know who owned that brothel - everybody does, but he isn't picked up and nothing is done about it. He has too many connections and the girls are nobodies. .The cuts and weals we see on escaped prostitutes these days are unbelievable. The clients do it, or the pimps. Maybe it's the influence of Chinese films; the pimps watch them avidly, like a lot of other men. They're full of scenes of torture. .Nowadays, the girls are much younger, too. This is because men in Cambodia will pay thousands of dollars to rape a virgin for a week - it's always a week, for a virgin. Sex with a virgin is supposed to give strength. It lengthens a man's lifespan and even lightens his skin..To make it clear they offer true bona fide virgins, the brothels today sell children. Often, they are very young girls, five or six years old. After the week is over, they sew the girl inside - without an anaesthetic - and quickly sell her again. A virgin is supposed to scream and bleed, and this way the girl will scream and bleed again and again. They do it maybe three or four times.

The subject was something I was researching after reading this post from my fellow country man: A Cuban In London: Moolaadé (Review). He always has something that makes me think and he does not shy away from tackling hard subjects. On this particular day, he was writing on human rights, on rights of women in particular. This lead me to search the net and I stumbled upon this amazing woman. How do you read this and remain the same? I cannot. I looked and found her foundation: http://www.somaly.org/ it is called the $2.00 foundation, for you can join for as little as two dollars. Please take the time to stop by and do whatever you can. I know times are rough for everyone right now and we always think the issue is too large to make a difference but that is not true. Spread the word, help these women and children in whichever small way you can. Thank you for stopping by today.

13 comments:

littlelondonobservationist said...

Thanks for your post on my blog and the link here. Appreciated. Somaly's story is an incredible one indeed. If you're interested in that, also check out the story of Waris Dirie. She's written a few different books, but check out Desert Flower. She's a human rights activist, especially against FGM and she's also a model. She comes from Somalia and that book is about her own terrible ordeal with FGM as a child.

littlelondonobservationist said...

Thanks for your post on my blog and the link here. Appreciated. Somaly's story is an incredible one indeed. If you're interested in that, also check out the story of Waris Dirie. She's written a few different books, but check out Desert Flower. She's a human rights activist, especially against FGM and she's also a model. She comes from Somalia and that book is about her own terrible ordeal with FGM as a child.

Barbara said...

First I went to Somaly's website and now I;m off to Amazon. Heartbreaking.

nath said...

very humbling...

rochambeau said...

Thank you Yoli, for this post. For spreading Somaly's journey.
You're an angel!
Love,
Constance

willow said...

Thanks for spotlighting this issue, Yoli.

(and thanks for your good advice on my post...it made me giggle)

Renee said...

That is so hard. That people could treat others like that is dispicable.

Animals, worse than animals.

Thank goodness there are good people that are making a difference.

I will go to her site.

Love Renee xoxo

A Cuban In London said...

Thanks a lot for giving me the link to littlelondonobservationist. It's nice to meet a like-minded London resident. And the excerpt you chose is as painful to read as it must have been to feel. Many thanks for such a beautiful offering.

Greetings from London.

Pedro Paz said...

Enjoy reading your Blog

Cheers From Portugal :)

Ancarol said...

Hi Yoli , this post it very useful for those girl for their life restart for more person to cares about them that sounds suffering If i have not found this post then I would never knew it What's wrong in this world by we to lost . Really good post keep it : )thanks for share .

Nyla said...

Yoli, as ever, you are not afraid to go where most people are hesitant to tread. I love that about you. I am adding Somaly Mam to my list of foundations to support. She is truly an inspiring and humbling lady.

Thank you for this.

Juliette said...

Yoli, this is so strange you are speaking about Somaly. I've just learnt about her in the book of Mariane Pearl I am reading, In Search of Hope.
Amazing women that should get our respect and support for sure!

Shaista said...

Dear Yoli, Somaly Mam has been a hero of mine for years - I think she has only recently started approaching the western audience with interviews and her book, because there is no real happiness for her on her road of lost innocence. I feel for her so much and hope someday my path in life takes me to a place I can meet her.
So I can bow to her as a Boddhisattva.