Nary’s New Beginning
Filed Under: Blog, Cambodia, Restoration, Stories
Nary, a strong and brave little girl, starts the next chapter of her bright future while her rapist serves a 12 year prison term.
A sweet, 11-year-old Cambodian girl’s case highlights the difference you can make.
To protect her identity, we call her Nary, which translates to “small, beautiful bird” in Kmer, Cambodia’s national language.
In January, government officials handed her disturbing case to our social workers.
Nary lived with her impoverished family while being exploited by a man who last month was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his crimes .
As the eldest, Nary would tend to her younger siblings and often mediate fights between her parents. Her father struggled with alcohol addiction while her mother worked to provide for the family.
Nary also worked at a restaurant to earn extra money, with a trusted family friend often driving her home from work. However, on the way, he would rape her and then threaten her not to tell a soul.
The sexual abuse of children is often at the hands of someone they know, even someone they and their family trust. Offenders use their position of power to further scare and manipulate the child into silence.
In Cambodia, a third of girls who are sexually abused between age 13 and 17, are exploited first by a friend, according to a 2013 survey coordinated by United Nations Children’s Fund.
In this instance, her offender’s crimes did not remain secret, and he was arrested and prosecuted.. Our social workers with funding from Child Rescue NZ then visited Nary and her family. She came to live in one of our residential homes, where she spent a long time with our counselor.
A few months after her rescue, the world went into due to the pandemic driven lockdown, forcing the relocation of girls from residential care homes in Cambodia. Our staff worked hard to safely place girls back home with their families, set up ongoing communication, and provide supplies and food.
Nary, who was 12 by then, worked well to recover from her trauma. After missing her family, she happily accepted the opportunity to return home.
Her family is now more unified and working hard to turn their lives around. With financial support provided by our community care program, they are currently building themselves a home, which will help secure a place in their community and the safety of Nary and her siblings.
It is encouraging to see her life and family restored, and a criminal held accountable for his actions by law enforcement. Nary’s story speaks of all round victory!