Used to living in the city’s most complicated, noisy and difficult place since her childhood – the wholesale market – Binh seemed to have forged herself to be tough, resilient and independent to survive in such a harsh environment. But no matter how firm or strong her voice was, it seemed that her sound was mute when she got home. In her house, nothing could be heard except her husband’s cursing, shouting and beatings.
This was not the first time Binh had knocked on Hagar’s door. Previously, after receiving support and advice from Hagar, she thought that her life would find peace. However, life never became easy for her. Binh had never seen the colour red as harsh, desperate and bitter – until she touched her head and felt the blood drops. That red colour was a wake-up reminder that she needed help.
Instinctively, she rushed to Hagar to find a way to end the sequence of events she was living through. Through her case manager, she has gained more knowledge about the cycle of violence, trauma and consequences, to better understand the dead-end she was stuck in. Binh shared that thanks to Hagar’s advice, she knows the risks to her and has established a safety plan for herself and her children.
Accompanying her throughout the process, Hagar’s case manager always respects and listens to all her feelings and decisions. Understanding the cycle of violence, Binh realized that she would forever be caught up in the emotional and physical torture of her husband if she did not break it and step out by herself. With Hagar’s legal counselling, Binh was empowered to build her inner resources, as she was determined to separate from her husband. This decision was not easy but essential for her at that time.
“Without Hagar, I would be stuck forever and not strong enough to find a way out. Thank you Hagar for supporting me and helping me for a long time.”
In addition, Hagar understands that financial security plays an important role in building a stable and safe life. After the separation, the violence stopped following her and ruining her life. Binh’s husband only sees the children on weekends. However, due to taking care of her two children alone, Binh feels the economic burden on her shoulders as a big challenge. Binh has worked making handmade food and serving at a restaurant, providing transport for others, cleaning houses and many other jobs. There seems to be no work that she has not tried! After working many jobs, Binh has accumulated the experience and skills to open a shrimp stall at the market. Selling food in the market is an unstable income: some days there is a profit, some days there is a loss. Despite that, she is determined to maintain her shrimp stall, because this is the best income for her so far, and this helps her to bear the responsibility of taking care of her children. Seeing her children having a good meal and going to school is the motivation for her to wake up every morning to go to work.
“Now I can cover my family’s living expenses by myself. I feel independent and can take control of my own life. I am no longer reliant on or suppressed by anyone. Therefore, I also wish Hagar can help those who are experiencing more difficulties than me so that they too can earn freedom and independence, just like I did.”
Safety is something no one can ever guarantee forever, yet, Hagar’s support is always open and ready. Thanks to that, Binh knows that she is always safe with Hagar by her side.