I have seen my father beat my mother up many times

I have seen my father beat my mother up many times.  Every time I beg him to stop.  I don’t know why my father gets so angry with her all the time. 

My mother keeps telling him that what he thinks and says is wrong and that she doesn’t know how to make him stop thinking and feeling that way. 

My mother looks after me and my brother and sisters.  She does all the work in the house and she also weaves mats to make extra money for our family.  My father has occasional work and helps a man who is a builder to help build homes.  Sometimes he doesn’t have work and so he just sits around the house while my mother does everything. 

One time my mother was watching a movie with us and my father was out drinking kava.  My father walked in and we were all sleeping but my mother was still awake watching the movie.  My father accused my mother of liking another man in our village.  He told my mother that the man teased him at the kava session saying that my mother was too beautiful for my father and didn’t know why she married him.  My father told my mother that maybe she was having a secret affair with the man.

I woke up and heard my father accusing her.  My mother denied it all and told him to stop because we would all wake up.  My father didn’t know I was already awake and listening.  My father picked up the remote and threw it at my mother’s face he then moved forward and kicked her in the face while my mother had my little sister sleeping next to her.  I jumped up and begged him to stop.  He walked away and while my mother was crying I got up to go and get her some water for her face.  He told me to leave the water and tell my mother to get up and go to him in the kitchen and make his food.  I told my father that it was underneath the cloth on the table.  My mother had already prepared it.  She always does. 

The next day my mother’s sister came by the house and saw my mother’s face.  My aunty has tried getting help for my mother but my mother is too scared to report because she says we have nowhere else to go.  But my aunty has had a talk with me and I know now what to do now if my father beats my mother again. My aunty has given me a mobile phone and we have hid it is a safe place.  Next time something happens I will call the police and the WCCC. 

I know my mother will be upset with me but I am doing this for her and for my brother and sisters so that we don’t have to live in fear anymore.

 

I heard of the WCCC on the Fanguna radio program

He started showing violent behaviour from the very beginning of our marriage.  I thought that I was the problem and that I needed to change my own behaviour to prevent him from being so violent.

He would go every night to drink kava and during the day he would sleep and if he woke up to find there was nothing to eat, he would throw the pots at me or grab any object near him and throw it at me.

When I gave birth to our youngest child I found out that I have cancer, and although he knew I was sick he do not stop beating me.

I heard about the WCCC’s services on their weekly Fanguna radio program and I visited the centre to seek help.  The WCCC offered several options and I opted for legal assistance and since then I have never felt so free in my life. I have custody of all my children and my husband has to pay fortnightly child maintenance.

If it wasn’t for the Fanguna radio program I would not have known about the WCCC.

 

“He locked me up in the house”

I lived with this man for one and half years and he treated me like an animal.

He beat and bashed me up so many times that I lost count and when I would leave him and go back to my family he would just turn up and walk into my family home and drag me out.  He has no respect for my family.

He locked me up in the house where we stayed and he left with other partners and if I said anything to him he would beat me. Once, he bashed me up with water hose, empty gas bottle and whatever objects he got. After beating me, he would just lock me in the house until the black marks and bruises disappeared from my body and then he would let me out.

I remember thinking at one point that this was it, this was my life and I had to just learn to put up with the beatings.

One day he beat me up and he fell asleep, so I slowly sneaked outside and ran onto the street and I met a vehicle on my way.  I stopped the vehicle and begged the driver to drop me to one of my relative’s house.

They told me to call WCCC where they can help me and they dropped me to the centre.

I talked to one of the counsellors about my case and I stayed in their safe house while they worked on my case.

I feel safe and happy now and I can make my own decisions and the best decision I made was to  leave this violent relationship for good and move on my life.

To all women and girls who are in the same situation with me and do not know where to look for help and support, please look and keep asking for help, never think for one minute that this is the life you deserve!  I am free of it and so you can be too!

 

“I Got My Daughter Back”

I reside overseas but my husband is here in Tonga and he does not want me to go back.

He is a violent man, not only does he beat me but he’s also having an affair with another woman here in Tonga.

I made a complaint to the police and we reconciled but he still continues to beat me and I am fed up with him.

While I am still struggling with this situation, I heard about WCCC and the work that the they are do through a friend. I enquired about their services and I asked them if I could stay in their shelter for a while and they offered me their safe house services straight after hearing my story.

I requested for a safety order to keep my husband away and to bring back our daughter to me.  The WCCC helped me and I was able to get my daughter back and we have arranged to leave Tonga immediately.  .

I am so thankful to the centre for the help they gave and I am just looking forward to leaving now and starting a new life with my daughter..

if you have a friend who needs help because of a violent relationship, help refer them immediately, it can make all the difference.

 

Case study: “My parents choice”

My parents arranged my marriage to a man 12 years older than me. He had a good job and was respected by everyone.  On our wedding day my parents sat me down and lectured me on the importance of being a responsible and dedicated wife, not only to my husband but to his family as well. I then moved to live with him, his mother and his oldest sister.

In the first week after the wedding, one of my best friends dropped in unexpectedly for a visit and asked if I would go with her to the market. I accepted and left a note for my husband, telling him where I was and why I was there. We were just strolling around the market doing my friend’s shopping when suddenly I was grabbed from behind and I looked up to see my husband there, obviously very angry with me. He had a grip on my left arm as he started punching my shoulder and furiously whispering that I should never have left the house without telling him. My best friend was very afraid and felt she couldn’t say anything as there were people all around. I shook off his hand and started running. Luckily I got away. I went straight to my parents’ home but they told me to go back to my husband. They said I should remain loyal and obedient to my husband because that was the right thing to do and eventually I would reap my blessings if I did so.

I returned but, from then on, my husband told me that I should ask his permission if I ever wanted to go out even if it was on an errand. If I didn’t abide by this he would choke, punch or kick me. I told my problems to a friend who was a former client of WCCC. I then called the Centre without my husband’s knowledge and was told I could come for counselling the following day. When my husband left for work the next day I went to the Centre.  In counseling I realized that I was in a dangerous, dominating relationship where my husband was the master and I was his slave.

The very next day I left my husband and went to live with my best friend who had a lot of brothers who would protect me from my husband’s threats and violence. The Center helped opened my eyes to the fact that I could be free from the ties and shackles that my parents made for me. Now I live with my best friend and have found a job that will support me in my decision to live my life in a safe and happy environment. Now my future looks bright.

 

Case study: “Do something to end violent relationship, if not, it will never end”

It had been seven years of married life. We have two kids, the eldest is in class one and the youngest is three years old.

Since 2013 there were a lot of problems in our marriage. I heard many stories about my husband having affairs but when I asked him he lied to me. My husband is a senior staff member working in a prominent workplace here in Tonga.

He was having an affair with a married woman in the same workplace. When I asked him about this he beat me up every time. Because I was really hurt days went by. I felt weak and my health was not good. I started to be mentally affected too.

My mother told me to let go of him, but because I still loved my husband, it was hard for me to get out of this violent relationship. I cried day and night but still he did not care.

I began to take my anger out on our kids. I treated them badly. I stopped my eldest child from going to school and I stopped myself from engaging in any of our religious function and obligations.

While I was suffering not knowing what to do, my mother in law and all my husband’s brothers interfered.

One day my husband went to work and forgot his phone. I picked up the phone, scrolled down and read all his dirty texts with this woman from his workplace.

When he came home after work I asked him about the text messages. He admitted it was true, that he was having an affair. He said he was sorry and asked me to forgive him. He said it was finished and that it would not happen again.

A short time later, I knew that the affair was continuing.  Honestly, I saw no hope that I would be able to leave him.  But the problems were getting worse and I could see that my daughters’ education and lives were being affected.

One day I met with one of my friends and told her what I was going through. My friend told me about the centre. She directed me to WCCC to seek help and support and I was very thankful that she directed me to the right place for help.

I had some counselling sessions. They gave me options which made me feel empowered to make decisions for myself. I am happy now. I had thought to myself that I would never get out of this violent relationship until I died, but NO I can.

I encourage all women who are stuck in a violent relationship like mine; the WCCC is there to help you. If you don’t do anything the violence will not stop.

 

We were saved by our neighbour

I got married on July 1996 at Nuku’alofa and my husband started beating me 3 months later. When I gave birth to our first child (boy) he still went on beating me.

It was typical of him to have drinks with his friends after work every Friday before coming home. He expected to have a warm meal waiting for him every Friday when he arrived. If this was not prepared then he would either hit me or throw a bottle at me. When I had my second child (also a boy), the beating and swearing at me increased. I was also told to stay at home and not to go anywhere. I told my family sometimes and they would come and get me but my husband would always come and beg me to come back and I would. Right after being released from hospital after giving birth to my third child (girl), he hit me and struck one of my eyes. It was only luck  that I didn’t go blind. I thank my neighbors for it was them who called the police. When the police came I was hiding with my new born baby girl while my two boys where crying and calling out to me. I am grateful that my neighbors were quick to report my situation because it could have been worse for my kids. We could have been killed.

Now I have taken my husband to court and have got a divorce. He wanted to get back together because of all the sentences and penalties he received for his actions but I refused to get back with him. I am now free and happy after 19 years of living in fear and captivity by a disturbed husband.

 

He offered me ride and he raped me

‘Alisi is 33 years old. She migrated from one of the outer islands to the main Island, Tongatapu to complete her studies. She completed this and went on to get married and had 4 children. She has been married for 12 years now. She tells her story.

 A few years later I wanted to continue on with my studies and so I enrolled in a Tertiary Institute. It was usual for us students who did not have a vehicle, to hitch a ride to school in either a friend’s or relatives when they are available. There was one particular faculty of the school who seemed nice and always willing to give me a ride home after school.

One day, during one of those rides, he raped me. I was much wounded especially on an emotional level that I even dropped out of the Institute. I had a lot of problems which stemmed from what I went through. I even began to have problems with my marriage because I feared that my  husband would hate me if he knew and I felt I had the lowest morale.

Then I heard about the WCCC and their work from some of the people and got better understanding of what they can offer from their radio programs. I immediately went to their office to seek help. As of now they have helped in letting me face what happened to me and to deal with the incident both emotionally, physically and spiritually. My husband even joins me on my counselling sessions with the Centre. I am currently receiving counselling from WCCC and learning to deal with the incident and learning to move on.

 

He raised me up since I was born and now has turned around to his own daughter

I am 17 years old and I am the youngest of three children, all girls.

I was abused by my father, although I never ever imagined that he could do such things to me.

He had raised me since I was born, I trusted him and then he sexually abused me.

It happen one night when I was asleep. I felt  someone touching me on my private parts. I woke up and found it was my father. Because I was shocked and scared, I laid still and silent on my bed. After he was done, he fell asleep then I got up and left out house. I went  to the bush across the road and hid there until the next morning.

At daylight I went back home but I was too scared to tell my mom and I kept silent for a few months.

One day I went to one of my cousin’s house and we were talking about how my older sister’s husband treats her by saying bad words and bad things about her like “you were not a virgin when I married you ” and so forth. I asked  my sister why is he saying things like that to her. My sister told me that our father had raped  her.

What I heard from my sister encouraged me to tell my mother about what my father had done to me. I found out that it was not only me, he did the same thing to my older sister.

I told my mom and she did not believe me. At this time my father went to another island, so I decided to move and stay in one of my relatives house before my father got back. I was scared if he found out that I had told my mother.

I moved to my relatives’ house and I explained everything to them. They helped me and took me to Women and Children Crisis Centre for legal advice and counselling. I feel safe now staying at the Safe House.

I hope that the decision I have made encourages young girls who are facing the same problem to seek help from WCCC because is never too late to seek help.

I say thank you to WCCC for all their help and support. They saved my life and keep me safe. I realize the difference now from what I have been before seeking your assistance. I hope my story will help to save more girls and encourage them to speak out because is not their fault. 

 

A Foreigner Living in Tonga Helped Through WCCC and FWCC Collaboration

The client thought she was in a hopeless situation because she was living in Tonga, which was a foreign country for her. She felt rejected by her husband who had brought her here. She described her life as being a second class citizen in their marriage. Her husband was on a well-paid salary but she was given little or no funds for herself or their child, who was born in Tonga. He would refuse to give her any money and would often make her beg for it. She also had limited contact with people like friends, family and neighbours because her husband stopped her from communicating with them. She eventually found out that her husband was having an affair with his co-worker. After she approached him about it, he contacted an immigration officer to request that they revoke her visa so she could be deported back to her country. She was shocked to receive a letter from the Immigration Office stating that her visa was going to be revoked and that she had to leave the country. He planned for her to leave their daughter with him, while having his wife deported. She confided in a neighbour, fearing the worst. The neighbour referred her to the WCCC.

“I felt so relieved when I came in for my first visit. I thanked God that he sent me to the right people. I was told by my husband that the immigration officer would come and remove me from Tonga on the first flight out on the following day. WCCC contacted their counterpart overseas, the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre to see if they could help out in this case. The assistance provided by the WCCC through the FWCC was financial support to urgently appoint a lawyer to prevent my removal and to prevent my separation from my 3 year old daughter. I eventually filed for divorce, custody and maintenance.” The client has now returned to her home country with her daughter.