Seven months ago, our team in 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 her drunk husband turning their house upside down. Hau feared for her life, he was violent and unpredictable. When her husband passed out, she decided to make a call to Hagar. We brought her and two of her children to the shelter that night. Hau was terrified.

Hau wanted to believe her husband could change, and she decided to return to him. We did everything we could to help her and her children to prepare for what was ahead, working with her to create a safety plan with emergency contact details. Our 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 heartbreaking 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. Our staff had noticed that her behavior was strange, and they asked Hau’s neighbor to stop by and check on her. Hau’s neighbour arrived just in time to stop her from drinking poison. Our 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 and her husband. That’s when they moved into the Hagar shelter.

The whole 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 programme at a professional housekeeping service. Her children go to school nearby, and Hau can pick them up on the way to and from work. She’s anxious to succeed, and determined to rebuild her life. With help from our Economic Empowerment project, Hau is able not only to heal, but to 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

Hagar pursues the highest degree of care and protection for each of its clients. To protect the identity of our clients, names have been changed and images do not necessarily represent the individual profiled.

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