Everyday items used for domestic violence on show in Vietnam

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Some of the items used by abusive husbands in Vietnam to perpetrate horrific domestic violence on display at an exhibition in Hanoi

A pan, an oven, a hoe, and a smoking pipe are among the items on display at a Hanoi exhibition on domestic violence -- they were all used by abusive husbands to hurt their hapless wives.

"Nuoc mat cuoi" (Laughing tears), which opened Friday, tells the sad stories of the victims, Tuoi Tre reported.

One woman in Hanoi provided a leash that her husband used to tie her up every time after beating her to conceal her bruises from outsiders.

One time she was chained without food for two days. Sometimes her injuries were so severe that neighbors had to rush her to hospital.

The woman, identified only as T., said beating her was an amusing thing for her husband.

P., another Hanoi woman, sent a pan that her husband once used to throw boiling water on her, scalding her.

One woman who suffered brutal sexual violence at her husband's hands sent a wooden club he once raped her with.

"I always felt scared and ashamed after sex," she wrote in a note displayed at the exhibition.

He would use whatever means, including violence, to have sex with her, but cared little about her feelings or desires.

"One time I was tired and I showed I did not want it, but he hit me everywhere and raped me. It was terribly painful.

"But that did not satisfy him. He pushed a wooden club into my vagina.

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"When a neighbor ran over after I cried for help, he coldly told her he was just having fun."

An ethnic Muong woman from the mountainous province of Hoa Binh did not send a weapon but a dress slashed all over by her husband.

She has suffered regular beatings by him during their seven years of marriage.

One time she had to jump of their stilt house while holding a child when her husband threatened her with a knife.

When she went home from work one day she saw a lot of her clothes had been slashed. Her husband warned her to "behave" or end up like the clothes.

Many women taking part in the exhibition have suffered in silence for years.

The only possible solution for them was killing themselves, but they wanted to live for their children's sake.

"I need to live for my children" is the first thought many of the women have after a beating, the report said.

But one woman realized that was a waste of time too since her son joins his father in being violent with her.

"He shouted at me and beat me once when I found him stealing money from my shop to play online game.

"He did not beat me as violently as his father. But it hurt me a thousand times more."

The exhibition is the first of its kind in Vietnam, and marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, November 25.

Laughing Tears refers to the fact that the women can stand up to change their lives and find laughter again.

US-based NGO Domestic Violence Network (DOVINET) and two Vietnamese groups Gender and Community Development Network (GENCOMENT) and the Network for Empowerment of Women (NEW) encouraged the victims to join social groups and speak up to protect themselves.

The exhibition, at 29 Trang Tien Street, will go on until November 29.

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