My name is Sokha and I was born in Phnom Penh. Our family didn’t have much but we were happy. My mother worked in the factory and my father was a driver. I was in school and doing okay. But one event changed my life forever. I was abused by a foreigner. I was 16 years old and the only son in our family. I was full of shame.
At Hagar, I received the support I needed. I had counsellors and mentors who talked me through my problems and were there for me when I needed anything. They also helped me get through my court case, which ended successfully. My perpetrator was finally sentenced to 14 months in prison.
My family had to move to another town to escape stigma and discrimination. But when I first came to live in the new house, I was still unhappy. I did not want to go to school. I lived with fear and shame every day, fear of my neighbors finding out about my story. But Hagar helped me get through my fears and supported me the whole way.
Today, I am studying in 8th Grade at a public school. I try to learn more and more so I can reach the next level. My ultimate dream is to become the best musician in the country, a person who is beneficial to my family and society.
I used to think that my life had no value… and that’s the reason I was abused. Now I know that no matter what happened in the past, I am valuable.