Somaly Mam was tricked into becoming a sex slave when she was a 12-year-old Cambodian orphan by a man who said he could find her parents. Instead he dumped her in a brothel. She suffered the life for ten years then escaped. Today she is the founder of the Somaly Mam Foundation and committed to ending modern day slavery in North America and around the world.
As a sexual slavery survivor, Somaly Mam works through her foundation to eradicate human trafficking, liberate its victims, and empower survivors so they can create and sustain lives of dignity.
She knows what she’s talking about. Put in an underground cage where there was “no night, no day,” she was brought out to service 20 to 30 “clients” per day. “My life was dead inside,” she says in a television interview.
One to two million children will be sold into slavery in the next 12 months.
There are 12 million slavery victims in the world today, but don’t think this is a Cambodian problem or a Southeast Asian problem. The Somaly Mam Foundation estimates 16,000 foreigners are trafficked into the United States each year to be used as sexual slaves. No, slavery did not end in the U.S. in 1865 with the Emancipation Proclamation. It is a modern day crisis in all 50 states.
That 16,000 figure doesn’t include American-born girls working as prostitutes. According to Foundation Executive Director Bill Livermore, girls are, on average, 12 to 13 years old when they enter prostitution in the U.S.
Somaly Mam has written a book about her experience as a sexual slave: The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine. Visit www.somaly.org to learn more about the Somaly Mam Foundation’s dedication to rescuing and empowering the millions of girls and young women abused by sexual slavery around the world. Hear Somaly’s chilling description of life as a sexual slave at http://video.foxnews.com/v/4357413/slavery-in-the-21st-century/.