Empowered to Return Home and Determined Not Put Up With More Violence

The client is 18 years old and lives in Tongatapu. She lived with her partner for 2 years before marrying him, and it was not until they got married that her husband started abusing her both verbally and physically. She had also suspected that her husband was having affairs. After the birth of their first child her husband beat her up badly. She reported this to the police. It was settled with a brief council by the police and the Magistrate, and as a result her husband was pardoned by the court. But sadly the beatings continued, and from the experience she had with the police and the court, she lost faith in attempting to report again. One day she could not handle it anymore and she came to the WCCC for help. She received counselling and was housed in the safe house. She was relieved when the Magistrate put her husband on a suspended sentence. She felt this enabled her to return home to a safe environment: “If my husband returns to his violent ways at least I have the suspended order on record – so the police can’t pretend anymore that they don’t have anything on file – and the next time we appear in court he will get a much more serious sentence. If that happens, it is proof to me that he wasn’t serious about changing, and so I will consider a divorce.”