I strongly believe that love is the answer and that it can mend even the deepest unseen wounds. Love can heal, love can console, love can strengthen, and, yes, love can make change.
~ Somaly Mam
Somaly Mam is a human rights advocate, focusing primarily on fighting human trafficking and sex slavery, who was awarded the distinction of being Glamour magazine's Woman of the Year in 2006 and made the Time magazines list of 100 most influential people in 2009. As a young child in Cambodia in the mid 1970's, her parents left her to be an orphan in a village from which she was later taken into being an indentured servant. She was abused by the man she told to call "grandfather" and was sold into a brothel at the age of 14. She was forced to marry a man as well serve 5 to 6 men a day, being raped or tortured whe she refused. After watching her best friend be murdered, she eventually escaped. She later founded her own organization to rescue and rehabilitate women and children from such situations.
I am always interested in stories of human resiliency and courage under the most difficult of situations. A friend made me aware of Somaly and passing on her book to me. After reading just the basics of her biography I am struck.. she was born the same time as me. I could have been this girl. A different place, the same time. Her words also pull me in to her story. How does one take the abuse, the mistreatment, the disgust in their lives and not only not allow it to turn them angry and embittered and hurtful to other people, but to actually transform it into a compassion for those around them?
Teach me. I want to know.