Domestic violence in Vietnam
Only recently has domestic abuse in Vietnam been recognised as a growing national epidemic.
The facts are…
- Vietnam ranks 77th out of 149 countries in progress to gender equality and domestic violence is viewed as an accepted part of family life.
- Gender-based violence (GBV) in Vietnam is a prevalent issue in Vietnam with 63% of Vietnamese women having experienced domestic violence. Social and cultural silence and stigma is still rampant often preventing the abused from raising their voice and reaching for help.
- GBV remains the largest single threat to women’s physical and psychological health and significantly weakens women’s educational and employment opportunities.
- Rural Vietnamese women often engage in vulnerable self-employment and face different challenges and thus exposure to such vulnerabilities means that they require specific business development services to progress.
HopeBox is a response the a gap in the services being offered to GBV survivors in Vietnam and focuses on women who are already in their transition phase (i.e. between shelter and the job market). To address these gaps, we provide a transition model that provides hospitality skills, career development leadership training and outsourced trauma counselling so they are able to re-enter the workforce.
By empowering our sisters, we are assisting them to have the chance to live a life free from the sexual and violent abuse and raise their children in a non-violent environment helping break the stigma and cycle that women should endure abuse in order to maintain their traditional role of peacekeeper.
“….we should not be so afraid of the stigma of leaving husbands that we bury ourselves in a prison.” –Woman aged 43 responding to qualitative survey as part of the National Study on Violence against Women in Viet Nam 2019
HopeBox aims to be a platform for women in violent situations to reach out, report and leave a violent situation. HopeBox is going to not only provide a pathway for women to escape but help them grow and end the cycle of abuse.
“We want to break the stigma that women must maintain a happy family and that they are rightfully being punished. It is so ingrained in rural Vietnamese society that most of these women believe they deserve the abuse. They tell their mothers and friends and they are told they must have done something wrong in a past life and to try harder at home. This is not acceptable. Not only do we want to provide avenues of support to women who have escaped, but we also need to educate the younger generations that violence is never okay. Without this, the cycle starts over.”
Founder of HopeBox
HopeBox hopes to play a part in creating a new social enterprise model that can provide employment opportunities and empowerment for rural Vietnamese women. There is still a long way to go to end domestic violence in Vietnam, including increased public awareness, education and the provision of social, medical and legal services in rural communities, but we’re making a start.