COMMUNITY VOICES | Domestic violence against Hmong women: The silent truth

Did you know, as a Hmong woman, you are considered your husband’s property? You were bought and paid for during the marriage ceremony and now he has the right to do whatever he wants to you; just like a piece of jewelry, an old shirt or a dog. There isn’t even a word for marriage in Hmong…the way you say marriage in Hmong is literally “buying your wife.” Yes, this is a very different perception of marriage but this view is how many Hmong elders, clan leaders and Hmong people, both men and women, still consider marriage today. Perhaps this is one of the many reasons why domestic violence against Hmong women is so prevalent and causes so much harm within the Hmong community whether we want to believe it or not.

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