the mother asked her youngest daughter to take a job.
But not just any job.
The girl, Kieu, was taken to a hospital and examined by a doctor,
who issued her a “certificate of virginity.”
She was then delivered to a hotel, where a man raped her for two days.
Kieu was 12 years old.
“I did not know what the job was,” says Kieu, now 14 and living in a safehouse. She says she returned home from the experience “very heartbroken.” But her ordeal was not over.
After the sale of her virginity, her mother had Kieu taken to a brothel where, she says, “they held me like I was in prison.”
She was kept there for three days, raped by three to six men a day. When she returned home, her mother sent her away for stints in two other brothels, including one 400 kilometers away on the Thai border. When she learned her mother was planned to sell her again, this time for a six-month stretch, she realized she needed to flee her home.
“Selling my daughter was heartbreaking, but what can I say?” says Kieu’s mother, Neoung, in an interview with a CNN crew that travelled to Phnom Penh to hear her story.