Cambodian teen ‘bride’ back home after eight-month ordeal in China

Mandy Zuo

A Cambodian teenager has been reunited with her family after being abused in relationships with two successive “husbands” in central China, according to a Chinese media report.

The 13-year-old girl, identified as Lun Ang Mary, fled the second man’s home in Yangxin county, Hubei province, in early October and appealed to passers-by for help, Hubei Daily reported on Sunday.

The passers-by contacted county police, who with the help of border police and the Cambodian embassy in Beijing, established her identity and helped her return to Cambodia last week.

Unable to speak Mandarin and without any identity papers, the girl told police via a translator that a middle-aged Cambodian woman duped her into going to China in February, promising her that she could marry a “good man” who would teach her Chinese and help her find a job.

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The girl crossed the border in China and ended up in the home of a man, also in Yangxin county, where she endured six months of physical and verbal abuse from him and his family, the report said.

She said she left him and found another “husband” in the same county through “someone she met online”, but she was physically abused again, according to the report.

The man also took away her mobile phone, stopping her from calling for help.

The girl said she fled the second home after more than a month and asked for help from some strangers. The passers-by could not understand her language and so called the police.

She said she did not know the identity of the two men and could not remember where their homes were, police said.

In June, the Ministry of Public Security said more than 1,100 illegal “brides”, including 17 minors, were freed after a series of raids in China between July and December last year.

The women and girls had been trafficked from six Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.

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