Srey Neth: Victim to Survivor

5 MINS2010NR
Srey Neth is a young Cambodian victim of human trafficking. In this story she speaks of her experience transitioning from victim to survivor. At 14 she was sold by her mother to a pimp for $300; a week later he sold her virginity for the same price then he forced her to serve 10-20 men per night afterwards. Her refusal was met with beatings or electrocution. Srey Neth was later rescued by police and a nongovernmental organization.

During her recovery, which unsurprisingly has taken more than five years, she was diagnosed with HIV. This is not just a story about the darkness in humanity. Srey Neth is a victim who has found her voice and become a survivor; I see her as a figurative Cambodia, her home country. It is culturally permissive of human trafficking after struggling through thirty years of genocide, occupation, and civil war. From a trauma and victimization standpoint, Cambodian society is still finding the voice it needs to end the exploitation. Srey Neth has been given guidance and the opportunity to find her own path. She has learned forgiveness, found self worth, received an education, worked hard to succeed, and been given life through anti-retroviral drugs.

Many in Cambodia do not have this option; Srey Neth knows this and hopes that her story of pain and healing can help. It is why she is now working in the same slum where she was sold, to help the younger children find their voice and avoid the victimization she faced. Her story is one of hope and an example for those working in the field of anti-human trafficking. Her story is also a parallel to my incomplete project on the transition Cambodia, the country, is making from victim to survivor.

This documentary narrative would not have been possible without the trust and respect of Transitions Global. To learn more about their international work visit

Recommended For You