While those who are exploited live in poverty and have few choices, it's important to note that the sex traffickers and sex "tourists" have plenty of choices and no valid excuses for turning these children into a consumable and making their experience as unimportant as the experience a bowling alley has.
At an age when most children might be preparing for their first day of school, Srey, 6, already has undergone trauma that is almost unspeakable. She was sold to a brothel by her parents when she was 5. It is not known how much her family got for Srey, but other girls talk of being sold for $100; one was sold for $10.
Before she was rescued, Srey endured months of abuse at the hands of pimps and sex tourists. Passed from man to man, often drugged to make her compliant, Srey was a commodity at the heart of a massive, multimillion-dollar sex industry in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
[...] Srey was rescued from the life of a sex slave by Somaly Mam, a former prostitute who runs shelters for the victims of Cambodia's sex trade. Somaly has rescued 53 children, so far. Many of them have profound psychological trauma. Some clearly are mentally ill. "A lot of them, when they arrive, have psychological problems ... very big problems. ... And they never have love by the people, by their parents," Somaly said.
Those who exploit others sexually are revealing a lack within themselves. If having sex with a child makes a man feel powerful, then he shows that he has no authentic power.
As that old saying goes: Follow the money.
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