A friend of mine works for Transitions Global. It's truly an amazing organization. I find it hugely inspiring to hear about people who are so moved by some of life's great injustices that they end up devoting their entire life to healing those in need. James Pond and his wife Athena are two such people who would not turn a blind eye to the horrors of sex trafficking. Here's an excerpt from an interview with James Pond.
By: Tanya O'Rourke
James Pond says selling girls as young as 8 or 9 years old into sexual slavery is a global issue. He estimates in Cambodia alone there are 50,000 to 60,000 girls being trafficked.
Pond says the damage to these girls mentally and physically is hard to imagine.
"When a girl has been in a brothel for a month, and seeing 10-20 customers a day, that's anywhere form three to 600 serial rapes that girl is going to undergo in a month," said Pond.
One young lady who has been through Transitions Global's program, Neth, was in a brothel for close to one year. Neth's mother sold Neth's virginity for $300 and then sold her to a pimp.
"When she was there," said Pond, "she went through some really brutal things ranging from being beaten and electrocuted to seeing anywhere from seven to 10 customers a day."
Neth is now 21 years old and a yoga instructor to the girls living at Transitions Global. But her wounds, so deep, may never heal. When asked if she is still afraid, Neth says yes, when she hears a door bell ring.
"Because when I lived in the brothel, when the people ring the bell, it means the guests come," said Neth. Those 'clients', or johns she says sometimes beat her.
Liya is another success story for Transitions Global. She survived, addicted to drugs, in a brothel in Cambodia for two years before being rescued. "The men would beat me with a stick," said Liya. "A long stick that is still painful to think about."