The Road of Lost Innocence is a true story of a Cambodian 9 year old orphan who was beaten, sold and tortured by her ‘grandfather’ who was expected to look out for her. At 14, she was forced to marry a violent soldier who beat her to have sex and when he died in the war, ‘grandfather’ took her back and sold her for prostitution. Somaly tried to escape a few times but was severely punished till she was ‘broken’ and became an obedient slave. One day, a foreign client took pity on her and showed her the real world with compassion, money and from thereon, her eyes were open. Later, she married another foreigner and together they started AFESIP, an international organization that tried to fight against human trafficking especially, young girls from prostitution.
Somaly Mam’s own story and the other little girls’ plight are heart breaking but it is also a testimony of resistance and hope. She overcame and her courageous determination to save others from the global tragedy of prostitution makes her a heroine in my eyes. I highly recommend this book and it is both inspiring and exquisitely written.The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam is published by Spiegel & Grau (2008)