It’s tough to imagine what life is like for a woman who has been trafficked. Many of the young women we work with were tricked into leaving their small rural villages for the promise of a good job and a better quality of life in the big city. Sadly, it’s only after arriving in the new and often far away city, when they realize they have been lied to and sold to a trafficker, pimp or brothel owner. Their identity documents are taken away, and they are trapped.
Imagine yourself if you can, thousands of miles from home, penniless, abused, and scared. To make matters worse, you’re unable to escape and reach out to the authorities because they are complicit and corrupt. Months pass. You’ve been stripped of your dignity, and you feel worthless, ashamed, and without hope.
This is the cycle for many women. They have been used, mistreated and tricked, and they feel unworthy of love and care. Many of them lose hope that life can be restored, that they can experience healing, or that they can even dare hope for a different future.
Trafficking seeks to destroy the souls and minds of those who are caught in it’s clutches.
This is the story of Su Mon. Like many women, she knew the darkness and bore the scars of sex trafficking. When Su Mon came to Eden, she was carrying the weight of brokenness. She had spent years under the thumb of a pimp, and her marriage was falling apart. Su Mon’s husband had a severe gambling addiction. He would squander their earnings for the month and demand that she go and make more to cover his debts.
She knew she wanted something different for her life, but she didn’t know how to break free.
And that’s where Eden came in. On the day that Su Mon visited us, we talked to her about the services we offered and how we could help her. We told her how Eden provides safe housing, job training, therapy, classes to improve marketability in the workforce; and most importantly, a safe place to experience a community that would foster empowerment, growth, and restoration.
Before Su Mon left, we gifted her with the interior heart of the Committed Necklace. We explained that this necklace had been purchased for her as a gift. Su Mon was deeply touched by the idea that a stranger cared enough to buy her a gift and wanted nothing in return. When we told her that the heart, dipped in 18 karat gold, was a symbol of her great value and worth; and that the person who purchased it for her was also wearing a partner necklace as a symbol of their commitment to her, she was moved to tears.
The heart, which is dipped in 18 karat gold, is a symbol of her great value and worth.
It took six months for Su Mon to escape and return to us. When she did, she was still wearing the center heart we gave her from the Committed Necklace.
It’s been a long and hard road for Su Mon, but in her time with us, she has processed through a great deal. She is learning about emotional health and her real value and worth as a human being. Most importantly she has a restored hope for her future.