**Names have been changed.
Chau was born in a small village in Northern Vietnam. From a young age, Chau witnessed many women abused by their own husbands. However, as no young girl should, not once growing up did she think that that one day that would be her life.
As is customary in Vietnam, Chau was married by the time she was 24 and the domestic violence started soon afterwards. Her husband was a heavy drinker which often led him to turn abusive to Chau, hitting and sexually abusing her were common occurrences.
After the miscarriage of her first child and the ensuing health problems, Chau was forced to give up her job. Her husband insisted that she did not leave their house and she lost any semblance of independence.
Following the birth of her second child, Chau’s only financial support was from her sister. Her own family life lacked love and any sort of peace. She was constantly afraid of her husband and the violence; mental, physical and sexual, continued after the birth of their second daughter.
In 2016 with support from her sister and Hagar International, Chau was able to escape after a particularly violent incident. But without a job in Hanoi and with two children under her care, she found she could not live on her own. She thought divorce was possible, but it proved very difficult. Besides her sister, Chau’s family did not support her stance, they felt divorce would cause the family to lose face. Social pressure from her community, her husband’s resistance to divorce and Vietnamese law, which meant separation from her children, all contributed to her decision to return to her husband and the abusive situation.
Months later, upon hearing about HopeBox, Chau escaped to Hanoi with her two children and found work in the HopeBox kitchen.
Now, Chau has a stable job, a sense of well being and she has ultimately found peace. Her income means she can pay for her children’s education and look after and provide for herself and them. HopeBox has given her the strength not only to protect herself but to face the future with renewed hope and confidence.
Chau’s story of domestic abuse is not the first nor the last. There are thousands of stories like this in Vietnam. We need you to help us make a difference. At HopeBox, we believe in taking urgent action in order to raise public awareness about domestic violence in Vietnam. Please join us by supporting our efforts to make a measurable difference in the lives of women who have fled violent home situations.