Violence in the family: Hoa's story
Hoa, a 15 year-old girl from a rural commune in Vietnam’s central province, dropped out of school so that her younger brother could continue his education because her parents could not afford the costs for both children.
Her parents then left home to seek better paid work in Ho Chi Minh city, leaving Hoa and her brother alone. Hoa did the house work, cooked and also looked after the family’s cow. Her parents returned every four months to see how their children were faring and to give them money and rice.
Seeing how vulnerable Hoa was, her uncle took advantage of the situation and raped her. When her parents next came back from the city, they found that Hoa was four months pregnant. They reported this to Plan and Hoa identified her uncle as the perpetrator. A report was filed with the police who took immediate action and the uncle was sentenced to five years in prison. This created tension within the extended family who blamed Hoa’s parents for putting their own relative in prison.
Hoa and her family took a decision to have the baby aborted, especially since the rape was done by a relative. However, on carrying out a paternity test, it was discovered that her uncle was not the father. Hoa had also been raped by her 65 year-old grand uncle who was identified as the father of the baby. He was also imprisoned.
Hoa’s parents continued to go to the city, while she was left to face the sarcastic, degrading remarks made by her own extended family and the community at large.
Plan has since arranged counselling and support for Hoa through its Child Helpline established in partnership with the government in 2004.
Hoa has received both emotional and practical support and has since found a job in a garment factory. She is now living in the city with a friend earning her own living.
To date Plan’s Child Helpline has taken over 110,000 calls from children and young people in need of help. Available 14 hours every day via a toll-free number, it is a nationwide service linked to a network of support agencies who can provide expert help for children.
Read more about violence against children and teenagers and what Plan is doing to help.
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