Arranged VN Brides Face Nightmare Lives in South Korea
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Article from: Tuoi Tre
A Kien Giang native girl said she would never forget the fleeting two hours she had to play with her four-year child at the divorce court in South Korea, not knowing when she could have such a moment again.
Unable to put up with repeated verbal offenses from her mother-in-law and the cold treatment of her husband, Dang Thi Hong Loan, a native of the Mekong Delta in her 20s, filed for divorce after being driven out of home.
Months before the trial, she could not bear missing her child and went back home but her mother-in-law just closed the door in her face, refusing to let her see her child, Loan told a Tuoi Tre reporter at a refuge center for Viet brides in the western Incheon City.
Most Vietnamese brides are left with two choices after running away from their husbands: hiding away at the center while waiting for the legal migration procedures or accepting to go back to Vietnam and leave children behind.
Reality check for Viet brides
Ms. Par Too Wup, director of a Refuge Center for Viet brides in Chang Won in the south of South Korea said the women taking shelter at her center, mostly from Vietnam, China, Philippines and Cambodia, are badly treated by their husbands and their families.
For their safety, she refused to give the women’s names or their addresses.
“We have been harassed and threatened by the Korean husbands and their families many times, who arrived here demanding to take back their wives.
As Hong Loan summed up her five years of marriage in South Korea, “Our life after marriage is a big disillusion since we have nothing in common.
“Most Korean men seeking Vietnamese wives are past their marriageable age, divorced, low-income earners, or suffer physical or mental disabilities that render them ineligible to local girls,” Loan said.
“We Vietnamese girls are nothing but baby-making machines for them. It’s merely a business transaction — there is no love between us. To our Korean mothers-in-law, their sons and grandchildren are always the number one, we are just nothing in their eyes.
“I don’t blame anyone for my plight as I chose to come here to look for happiness and to help my family,” Loan said.
When the Tuoi Tre reporter visited the center, six Vietnamese women were staying there, including 21-year-old Vo Thi Lan from Ba Ria Vung Tau who was carrying a baby.
Lan said she married a Korean man twice her age in July last year via a marriage agency.
“I agreed to marry him to have VND30 million (US$1,500) to pay for the debt of my parents.
“At the time, he seemed normal. But after coming here, I realized there was something wrong about him. He didn’t say anything all day and just obeyed what his mother told him, like a child,” Lan recalled her first days living with her husband’s family.
Rubbing her hand on the abdomen, Lan cried, “I was insulted every time I didn’t understand them. His mother once forced me to kneel on the floor all night as a punishment. She even tore off my clothes I was wearing and drove me out.
“Being completely naked under cold weather, I had to walk to a neighbor’s house and asked for some clothes. She then explained to the neighbor that the porblem occurred because I refused to sleep with my husband.”
Lan decided to flee from her husband’s family after living with them for four months.
“I am staying here till I give birth and find a job to have enough money to return home to take care of my child. I don’t know what to do here,” Lan burst out sobbing.
During his stay in South Korea, the Tuoi Tre journalist talked with many Vietnamese brides who are victims of abuse, some were beaten up and hospitalized with broken ribs. Miserable and hurt, they endure the pain and hide it from their parents for fear of making them worried.
Some were even forced to have sex with their husbands in the presence of their mothers- and sisters-in-law so they could check their ability as a wife.
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