Giang used to be a beautiful girl. Tall, with long black hair and a stunning face. She was also very bright, and excelled at school. She loved school, her only dream was to study and go to university and she always came top of her class. For Giang, studying was her dream and her passion, she lived to learn. Her father did not approve of her studying and made it difficult for her to study at home. In the lead up to her exams, Giang’s mother suggested she go and stay at her cousin’s house where she could study as much as she wanted to.
One night her cousin’s family went out, and Giang was left at home alone to study. She heard a strange sound and went to investigate, only to find a thief had broken in to the house. Giang turned and ran for the door, yelling for help, but the thief grabbed her and threw her to the ground. With a metal bar, he savagely beat her 13 times around the face and head yelling “I’m going to kill you!” He only stopped when he heard neighbours coming, and he fled.
Giang was left for dead. She was beaten so badly every bone in her face was broken, 60% of her brain was damaged and she lost 18 teeth. She spent a long time in hospital undergoing surgery and having her skull and face rebuilt with metal rods. When Giang realised that due to her brain injury she would no longer be able to go to school, she sobbed with despair and cried out “Why didn’t you just let me die? I wish you had let me die. I don’t want to live.”
Afterwards her family situation rapidly deterioated. Her father blamed her mother for what happened to her and turned violent, beating his wife and daughter almost every day. As well as suffering the trauma of the attack, Giang and her mother both became victims of domestic violence.
Today, Giang and her mother are both receiving much needed recovery and counselling support from Hagar Vietnam. Giang has severe PTSD and is so scared of being alone she cannot even go to the toilet without her mother or a staff member going with her. Giang is terrified of the dark and has frequent nightmares. She is depressed, and struggles with not being able to concentrate or go to school.
Hagar staff are working hard to support Giang and her mother. As a result of losing so many teeth she cannot eat properly, so the Hagar staff make sure she has food that is easy to digest without chewing. Hagar counsellors and case workers accompany Giang to medical appointments and make sure that she gets counselling and education while at the centre. At only 14 years old, Giang faces a long road to physical and emotion recovery. At Hagar, we are dedicated to working with her until she is able to go back to school and look forward to a better future.
*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.