Police in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho say they have recently received an unusually large number of pleas from families to rescue their daughters who were cheated into abusive marriages or prostitution in other countries, especially China.
The families, most of them poor, said their daughters had been lured by self-proclaimed marriage brokers with promises of marriages to rich men or at least a better life.
But it turned out that many had to endure beatings from husbands or were sold to brothels.
One unidentified victim, who had been married two months earlier, told her family that she was ill-treated by her husband and his father. She was forced to live in the pigpen and be naked after once trying to escape.
Another victim called home from a brothel where she was forced to work as a prostitute.
But it is not known how many such victims there are.
Colonel Truong Van Nam, head of the Public Security Department at Can Tho Police, said he has sought help from the Ministry of Public Security.
Vietnamese authorities said at a conference last month that since 2009 they have rescued 398 women trafficked to China. Many of the trafficking syndicates pretended to be marriage brokerages, they said.
Illegal marriage brokers have even placed the lives of many Vietnamese women in danger. The brutal conditions in brothels need no reiteration. But several women have also been killed and beaten by abusive husbands in South Korea and Taiwan, where the women knew little of the local languages or culture.
The government's promise of several years ago to set up official marriage brokerages to save the women from such miseries is yet to be fulfilled.
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