New support for Vietnamese wives returning from bad marriages in South Korea

By Cuu Long   November 1, 2016 | 01:15 am PT
New support for Vietnamese wives returning from bad marriages in South Korea
A woman from Can Tho with her South Korean husband, who beat her to death a week after their marriage. Photo courtesy of the woman's family
Thousands of women have come home in recent years after language and cultural barriers broke their marriages.

A women’s association in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho has started a vocational and financial project to support an increasing number of women returning home from broken marriages in South Korea.

Can Tho Women’s Association and the Korea Center for United Nations Human Rights Policy announced the project last week to provide free vocational training and cheap loans to the women to help them rebuild their life in Vietnam.

The project will also open a center providing legal support to make sure the returning children have access to public services, especially education and healthcare.

Nearly 73,000 women from Can Tho, the Mekong Delta’s major city, married South Koreans between 2005 and 2015. Many met their suitors via illegal brokerage services

Nearly 15,000 of them have divorced. In most of these cases, the women cited cultural and language differences as the main reasons, some saying they had been abused by the husband and his family.

Vo Kim Thoa, vice chairwoman of Can Tho Women’s Association, said a survey of women married to South Korean men has found that more than 70 percent only met their husbands once or twice before marriage.

Statistics from the Korean Institute of Social and Health Affairs showed that 7,636 Vietnamese women married Korean men in 2011, topping the list of foreign brides.

Many women came from poor families in the Mekong Delta, envisioning a better life overseas.

But it's not always happily ever after.

A woman from the delta hanged herself in Gumi, eastern Korea, allegedly because of conflicts with her mother-in-law in 2013.

In November 2012 a delta woman jumped from the 18th floor of a Busan building while holding her son and daughter. The husband had lost all the family money and became violent.

In May 2012 a South Korean farmer beat his Vietnamese wife to death.

In 2010, a 20-year-old woman from Can Tho was beaten to death by her 47-year-old South Korean husband just around a week after their marriage. She did not know about his mental illness.

The Can Tho’s support project was funded by a private company with VND11.4 billion ($513,000).

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