Warning; Kanha's story discusses sexual assault and may be triggering for some people. Please visit our "Where to Get Help" page to find out what support is available if this piece is difficult for you to read.
One day when Kanha was on her way home from school, a man approached her and forced her to follow him to a quiet and less populated space. There, he raped her, leaving Kanha both physically hurt and emotionally traumatised. The trauma of this event resulted in Kanha having terrible nightmares and reflecting on the event often. She also faced discrimination from people in her community and her own family who all looked at her differently as a result. It was in this season of her life that Kanha got referred to Hagar Cambodia and received support services from the team in Battambang. She was 17 years old.
The Hagar team provided her with all the help they could to help Kanha recover from her trauma. She received case management and counselling services and Hagar also helped and encouraged her continue her studies as well (which her family had wanted her to stop). She is now working for another NGO that Hagar partners with as a child educator in her community and teaches others about child protection and development.
Kanha is now healed and thriving and wants to use her skills and experiences to help other children who have little opportunity and challenges in their lives too. She is due to finish her university study at the end of 2021.
Story taken with permission from Hagar NZ