Cuong’s story

A teenage boy overcomes deep trauma to face his abuser.

Cuong’s story

A teenage boy overcomes deep trauma to face his abuser.

Cuong ran away from home to escape a violent father and extreme poverty. He had always lived in fear of his own family, and at age 15 he wanted to break free.

He had hoped for something better, but when he reached Hanoi he realised he had nothing: no money, no friends, and no idea what to do next. He felt totally alone.

The friendly young man turned out to be a pimp, and took Cuong to the home of a pedophile, where Cuong was raped.

So when a young man met him and offered him a place to sleep, Cuong was suspicious but felt he had no choice. He was hungry and lonely, and didn’t know who to trust.

The next morning, as he returned to the streets, he was so deeply ashamed of himself that he just didn’t care when the same thing happened the next night, and again and again after that.

One day Cuong met some social workers from Blue Dragon, and while it took him some time to trust them he eventually agreed to accept their offer of help.

Initially he just wanted some food and a safe place to sleep, but when he disclosed that he had been abused, he was offered a chance to talk to a Blue Dragon lawyer, and he eagerly agreed.

Cuong’s statement led to the police opening an investigation, and months later the man who raped Cuong was arrested on multiple charges. Blue Dragon’s lawyers were there in court on Cuong’s behalf and ensured he was paid compensation for his injuries.

Securing justice has helped Cuong restore his own belief that life can be fair. He is proud that his report has made a difference, and now he dreams that one day he might study to be a lawyer so that he can help other children who have been victims of crime.

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