Srey Channthy grew up in one of the poorest provinces in Cambodia. She left home when she was 18 to try to make a better living in the Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city. She went from working in the rice fields to becoming a singer of an international Khmer psychedelic rock band.
Channthy moved to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, so she could support her family back home in Prey Veng, a rural province in Northern Cambodia.
“When I come to Phnom Penh,” Channthy remembered, “I work clean for house. One month seven dollar fifty, one month.”
$7.50 a month wasn’t enough to make ends meet. So when her roommate told her she could make a lot more money as a massage therapist, she jumped at the opportunity. But when Channthy went to meet her prospective employer, she immediately realized she had been tricked. Two men locked her in a room, tied her to a bed with electrical wires, and told her she was now their sex worker.
“The man say, ‘You stay here. You never go out.’ I say, ‘What happen to me now?’”