Late last year, Hagar Vietnam received an emergency call in the middle of the night. It was from Hau*, a 37 year old woman who had woken up to find her drunk husband turning their house upside down. Hau feared for her life, he was violent and unpredictable.
This is Hau’s Story
When her husband passed out after his drunken rage, Hau decided to call Hagar. Hagar brought Hau and her children to the shelter that night. She was terrified.
Hau wanted to believe her husband could change, and she decided to return to him. Hagar did everything they could to help her and her children to prepare for what was ahead, working with Hau to create a safety plan with emergency contact details. Hagar staff also contacted her neighbour, to make sure she kept an eye out for unusual or suspicious movement in the house. Hau had no idea how heart-breaking her homecoming would be.
Hau’s husband didn’t change. One night, not long after she had returned home, he was so violent towards her that Hau decided it would be better to end her life. Hagar staff working with Hau had noticed that her behaviour was strange and they had asked Hau’s neighbour to stop by and check on her regularly. Hau’s neighbour noticed things were unusually quiet one evening, and arrived at the house just in time to stop Hau from drinking poison.
Hagar’s crisis team responded immediately and spent several hours trying to talk Hau down. By the end of their time with her, Hau and her children were ready to leave behind their home, husband and father. That’s when they moved into the Hagar shelter.
The whole Hagar team came together to work intensively with Hau, and after a week at the shelter Hau no longer felt suicidal. She talked with other clients she had met when she was last staying at the shelter, and she saw how much they had changed. Hau realised that her life could change too. For the first time Hau saw her life as something of significance for herself and her children.
Hau now attends an on-the-job training program at a professional housekeeping service. Her children go to school nearby, and Hau can drop them off on the way to work and pick them up on the way home. She’s anxious to succeed, and determined to rebuild her life. With help from Hagar’s Economic Empowerment program Hau is able to not only heal, but to also have hope for all that lies ahead.
“I will try my best to live for myself and create a better life for my children despite upcoming challenges and difficulties.”
Hau, survivor of domestic violence.
*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.