This is the home of this 11 year-old girl where she had lived for 20 days, without food but just 
eating watercress, after escaping from beatings by her violent father.

Monday, May 16, 2011
By Khmerization
Source: Koh Santepheap

Villagers have stumbled on an 11 year-old girl living in a bush in a tarpaulin tent by herself, eating only wild leaves and morning glory/watercress after she had run away from home 20 days ago to escape repeated beatings by her violent father.

11 year-old Sok Reastr Ros, which means 'a citizen living happily', was found living in a bush behind the village in Chok Chey village, O'Bei Choan commune in O'Chrov district in Banteay Meanchey province at 4pm on 8th May living in a tarpaulin tent, eating only watercress and wild leaves.

Mr. Kham Yan, chief of O'Bei Choan Police, said he had been informed that villagers had found an 11 year-old girl living in the bush by herself and he went and brought her back to the village under heavy rain. He said went the police arrived at her tent, they only found a bunch of watercress and a packet of pounded salted chilli at her side. She told police that she had escaped from home on 12th April because she cannot endure repeated beatings from her violent father. She said she lived under the tent for 20 days, under heavy rain without food and blanket and only eat watercress for the last 20 days. She was so skinny and very weak when she was found.

The girl told police that on the day she run away, her father asked her to go to ask a neighbour for basil leaves for the cooking. After she cannot get the basil leaves she was too afraid to come back home because her father was very violent who had beaten her many times before.

Police had summoned the girl's parent, Mr.Sok Sarath and Ms. Loeun Pov, both 50 years old, to the police station. They told police that she is a very difficult girl. On the day she disappeared, her father gave her the money to buy some cigarette and she had disappeared since then. However, they said they do not want the girl back and gave her to the authority. Mr. Suong Moeung, chief of O'Bei choan commune, told Koh Santepheap that this family is very poor and some days they went without food. The couple had 9 children and Sok Reastr Ros is the 7th child. Police and commune chief said that the girl's father, Sok Sarath has been jailed for 2 years because he had attacked and injured his wife with a machete before. He had just been released from jail when his daughter ran away from home.

The girl has been since sent to a Cambodian Women's Crisis Centre (CWCC). Mr. Pin Phirum, an official from the CWCC, said the girl has been housed at CWCC centre in the Banteay Meanchey provincial town. He said the girl is very emaciated and she had scars, bruises and gangrenes/infections all over her body. He said she had suffered severe psychological trauma because even in the centre she was very timid, kept to herself all the time and is very scared of everybody.


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