Hy, domestic violence survivor

"Am I a bad mother? Is this the right thing to do?"

Hy struggled with such questions when she took her daughter and left her abusive husband. All too often, survivors of domestic violence grapple with guilt when making tough decisions.

As a child, Hy was diagnosed with vitiligo, a chronic skin condition, and her family blamed her for anything bad that happened because of it. When a man offered to marry her, it initially seemed like a wonderful blessing.

"I couldn't believe my good fortune, so I accepted it when he started beating me. It was fine when he threatened me. It was fine. It was ok."

Numb after years of abuse, Hy only found the strength to stand up to her husband when he became violent towards their daughter. She knew she had to keep her child safe and reached out to HAGAR. We provided them with safe accommodation in Hanoi and medical treatment for their physical injuries. But Hy also had psychological wounds.

HAGAR's trauma-informed counselling and care helped her come to terms with the painful experience, and to accept herself despite her appearance.

With increased resilience and newfound self-respect, Hy was able to love her daughter and care for both their physical and emotional needs.

"I used to think it was my fault when my husband did bad things to me. HAGAR helped find a priceless hidden treasure – my self-confidence. I know now there is no reason for him or anyone else to hurt me."

Hagar Vietnam also provided Hy and her daughter with food aid when she lost her job during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has since found work as a cook and is currently studying English.

Today, Hy is a strong community advocate against domestic violence and is using her story to prevent others from falling victim to the same.

As part of their recovery, HAGAR focuses on helping survivors build resilience and gain economic independence, to reduce their vulnerability to re-exploitation. When you partner with HAGAR, you help impact communities and build stronger families.