Somaly Mam responds to accusations, returns to help victims of sex trafficking

Posted: December 9, 2015 in human trafficking

Somaly Mam was forced to resign in 2014 from the original foundation bearing her name due to that foundation’s own investigation, and an article published in Newsweek in May 2014.  For a period of time, there was no public response by Somaly Mam to the accusations that she had lied about her past, and coached a girl to lie about being a victim of sex trafficking, among other things.

Somaly Mam has responded to the allegations against her in three ways that I’m aware of:  (1) She  refuted the lies and inaccuracies in a September 2014 article in Marie Claire “I didn’t lie.”  (2) She published an open letter in December 2014 calling the statements against her “inaccurate.”  (3) More importantly, she proved her commitment to the specific women in her care, as well as the larger cause of assisting victims of sex trafficking, by continuing the work in the face of a storm of criticism, and that possibly unfounded.  Her organization, The New Somaly Mam Fund, includes some leaders and board members from the former organization, which leads me to believe not everyone previously involved with her believed the story that led to her downfall.  Interestingly, although Marie Claire’s interview mentions that Newsweek and the bombshell article’s author stood by their original story, Newsweek itself published an article about Somaly Mam’s new work.

Somaly (front view) with survivor (view from rear)

Readers can decide for themselves whether Mam is telling the truth or not.  But I believe she, and her new organization, deserve another look.


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