ELLE Voice

[Sexual abuse] From an insider’s perspective

Ms. Le Hoai Anh is one of the few people who did not hesitate to speak up.

What kind of childhood did you experience before being sexually abused?

Before being sexually abused at the age of 9, I was an innocent, carefree and independent girl because my mother was a teacher and my father often worked away from home.

Fear, confusion and resentment but had to kneel helplessly, because the person with that name not only had animalistic behavior but also threatened to kill her niece if she dared to reveal this shocking story to a third person.

During those years, every time her uncle came to visit, little Hoai Anh only knew how to hide and sharpen a nail to protect herself.

Cultural world

Sexual abuse – When power is misplaced

At that time, how did your family react to your daughter’s incident?

Seeing her daughter’s unusual behavior, my mother asked questions, but the 9-year-old girl that day was overwhelmed by fear and pain, so she still endured it silently, not daring to say a word to anyone.

From then until adulthood, how did you experience life?

Since being sexually abused, my life has become stagnant and these images have haunted me for the rest of my life.

I often have nightmares. Even though I am married and have children, I am afraid every time I am close to my husband.

Why did you decide to go public and share your story after all these years?

I personally had to fight and struggle internally when I dared to stand up and publicly reveal my story of being sexually abused.

Not only does she tell her story to encourage other women, she also accompanies them in their quest for justice and protects themselves.

I still remember, after 3 days of sharing my story on my personal page, more than 120 people messaged me via Facebook regarding the issue of child sexual abuse, resulting in many children being infertile.

Which story left the most impression and meaning to you during your days of working for people who were sexually abused?

The story that made me feel the most heartbreaking and memorable was the story of a girl who was abused by her grandfather, biological father and uncle since she was 5 years old.

What, what emotions remained in her after the `journey` of daring to speak the truth and daring to fight for those who were sexually abused?

I felt extremely angry, unfair and uncomfortable.

Please protect and help people who have been sexually abused have the life they deserve, so that children no longer fall into painful situations both physically and mentally.

Read the next character’s story tomorrow on elle.vn or read it in the December 2017 issue of ELLE magazine.