When she was 23 years old, Chanty was married against her will. “My parents and grandparents forced me to get married to a man I didn’t love. I protested again and again but they forced me. I feel sad that they didn’t undersand me. I had no choice but to marry that man.”
After she got married, Chanty went to live with her mother-in-law. Her mother-in-law doted on her son but never paid any attention to Chanty. Chanty felt alone. She would work long hours at a garment factory to save money to build a house while her husband would spend the day drinking. He would become violent and beat Chanty. Often, she would have to run away and hide behind the house to avoid more fierce beatings.
“I reported the beatings to the village chief and police, and they summoned my husband to sign a contract stating he wouldn’t hit me again. But this was short lived. A few months later, he started hitting me again. I remember the day after I gave birth to my son, my husband forced me to go and collect firewood from the forest. My legs were so painful and I felt so weak, but he kept hitting me and forced me out of the house” said Chanty, in tears.
Unable to bear the beatings any longer, Chanty divorced her husband and moved away. Her mother-in-law sold the family home and gave her some money. With that money, Chanty was able to return to her hometown to live with her ailing grandmother.
It was during this time that she was referred to Hagar where she now receives full services. She currently lives with her son at her grandmother’s home. During her spare time, she helps her grandmother plant rice in the fields or reads English books.
“I am a different person now. Before, I didn’t have anything, but now I have my son and hope for the future. One day, I want to have my own house”, said Chanty, when talking about her future dreams.
“I want to thank Hagar for all the support provided, and for all those who were willing to help, support and encourage me. Thank you for financially helping me with my grandmother’s illness. Financial help is one thing, but i was made to feel worthy and valued, and for that, I am so grateful. Most importantly, I was given a chance to change my life around and see hope for my future. Thank you.”
In the future, Chanty plans to learn how to be a beautician and to run her own business from home. She would like to save up enough money to send her son to school. Chanty also plans to learn computer skills and to learn Chinese so she can earn a higher salary at work.
*Hagar pursues the highest degree of care and protection for its clients; names have been changed and images do not necessarily reflect the individual profiled.