How do the survivors of a genocide respond psychology to the horrors witnessed after the fact? By and large the fruition is found in symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There have been several studies undertaken in the U.S. among Cambodian refugees both with adults and youth survivors over the past 30 years to evaluate if there were any negative consequences to their experiences. In one study of refugees who had relocated to Long Beach, CA it was revealed that 63% had PTSD 25 years after having fled the monstrosities of the Khmer Rouge (Cambodian Curse, Joel Brinkley).
Do people, regardless of their culture or ethnicity, experience trauma when exposed to the conditions of death, starvation and exhaustion. Yes, emphatically yes, and it could be argued that we will never know the extent of the psychological damage caused by the genocide under the Khmer Rouge on its survivors. The way people were executed were barbaric to say the least. The atrocities of war that were carried out on civilians were done by an army hell bent on suffering and saving ammunition. It would seem the method of killing was to use any means of rudimentary methods to either cause fear, humiliation or because it was what was available to this unskilled, uneducated and untrained red army. Killing was what they did but they did not do it gracefully with any tact or honor. Death was slow, drawn out and demoralizing. Death would be the only form of freedom the Khmer Rouge would offer and they gave it in abundance but not with dignity. We can spend time later on some of the worst methods with the purpose of empathizing a history that should never be forgotten. But for now, the reality is that the survivors of this genocide have to relive it everyday.
Maybe paying for sex numbs the pain. Maybe the girls that have been coerced into the trade have become numb to the pain. If an entire culture is reeling from the pain of this level of brokenness, then simply moving girls off the street isn't enough. 80% of trafficked girls who have been rescued will return to that life. Something has to break through the darkness left from the extreme trauma that is being perpetuated from each generation of Khmer to the next?! It isn't enough to rescue a girl from her captors. Their dignity and self worth have to be restored. This is why Rapha House!!! To rescue, heal and restore a broken generation. To attempt in a small way to steer the culture towards something beyond themselves. This is why Christian organizations have sprung up in droves over the past 17 years, to be culture movers. To truly rescue these girls we have to pray that God in his miraculous ways, through his people, bring these victims to a place of healing and experience true freedom, the freedom of their value...that they are loved and worthy of respect and honor.