58% of married Vietnamese women have suffered physical, sexual and emotional violence by their husband. 87% did not seek to report the abuse at the time.
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.
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
It’ll come as no surprise that domestic violence overlaps with human trafficking. A study conducted by UNICEF and the Institute of Labour and Social Sciences (ILSSA) found that the majority of trafficking victims made active decisions to migrate in pursuit of opportunities. Women and girls from rural areas are at particular risk of trafficking, according to the report.
HopeBox hopes to play a part in creating a new social enterprise model that can provide employment opportunities and empowerment for rural 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.