Location: Sambour Village, SIem Reap Province
Summary: After seeking support from the Peace Center, a couple who had struggled with the continuous violence of the husband can now live a violence-free and happier life.
Mr. Mon Toy is a 50 year old man living in Sambour Village, Rerl Commune, Pourk District, Siem Reap province. His wife, Lam Loy, is 52 years old. The couple have 6 children together. They have been married for 30 years and have both fond and violent memories of their relationship.
Mon Toy has used violence on his wife and children for 27 years, and attributes this in part to jealousy. He frequently cursed, damaged property within the home as well as excessively misusing alcohol. He also destroyed objects within the home, as well as the structure of the home itself. He inflicted physical abuse on his wife who was forced to seek refuge in her neighbours home. Lam Loy sought help from the Gender Peace Network (GPN) of Banteay Srei, who gave her primary intervention through counselling. She went to the Peace Centre as reccomended by the GPN and a survivor of gender-based violence met by Lam Loy. The Peace Center offered her counselling and legal help.
During her sessions, she began to understand that the violence committed by her husband needed to be addressed at the legislative level. Up until this point, she was unaware of laws on the matter, as she believed it was common, and even acceptable, for a husband to inflict violence on his wife and children. Lam Loy decided to petition for divorce. Upon hearing this information relayed to him from the GPN, Mon Toy referred himself to the Peace Center for counselling, as he did not want to divorce. The Peace Center also provides counselling to men in collaboration with the commune police who provides information regarding the law, how to control anger and how to break the cycle of violence through discussion and video education.
After this training focused on Mon Toy’s jealousy and anger issues, the Peace Center facilitated a meeting between the husband and wife where they could discuss weaknesses in their relationship and could articulate their wants and needs. After this counselling, Lam Loy decided she wanted to return to live with her husband.
After 3 months, the Peace Center staff went to visit the family and interview Mon Toy. They noticed that he had stopped using violence on his wife and he was more happy and content with his home life as a result. He was not as jealous as he was before he visited the Peace Center and did not fight or argue with Lam Loy as he had learnt to control his anger when the need arose. He understood that violence would be met with the force of the law and 1 month later, when the Peace Center staff visited again, they could see that the household was still free of violence. Lam Loy explained that she was happy as for over 27 years the family always had problems with violence without any means of prevention. The community did not discriminate against her and her family anymore as they did when they were aware of the levels of violence within the home.