Cambodian Women Vulnerable to Domestic Violence Due to Lack of Protection, Punishment

When Sopheap married in 2018 she was happy to settle down and start a family with her husband, and she gave birth to a son soon after. But within a few years, her marriage descended into domestic abuse after her husband became an alcoholic.

She faced regular beatings and insults by her husband, who works as a rattan basket maker in Kampong Chhnang province, and often had to stay with relatives together with her son to avoid abuse.

“Sometimes… I feel like I’ve run out of emotions and am almost crazy. It has been very difficult,” said Sopheap, adding that she had kept her family together for her son’s sake.

“If he keeps using violence and does not change, I only have the choice to divorce,” said the thin 43-year-old, who broke down in tears during a recent interview with VOA Khmer at her sister’s house in the province.

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Kann Vicheika