Many children in Cambodia face family violence. For me, family violence means someone who is uncomfortable to live with, to be with. It's hard; for example, I am going to school and then I am back home and I have to face the family problems. I have to face the violence like bad words from my family, blaming me for doing this, hitting children. Most children in my generation are affected by these problems because of poverty and lack of education. For some of my friends, even though they face these problems, they feel normal. I am very different because I still feel hurt. My friends don't feel it is hurtful; they never feel hurt, they never talk about it, they just keep it inside. Mostly in my country, people never recognize this problem because it has happened for a long time.

Another thing is culture. Our values are that the father is the head of the family and he can do anything that he wants and no one can blame him. It is also part of our culture that women cannot do the same things as men. Women born in traditional cultures feel that these things always happen and they do not want other people to get involved with their family or to help them with problems. No one thinks this is a problem.

For me to solve this problem, what I do is just don't think about it. I do what I want to do and I don't worry about what people think about me. People think that I am impolite with my family and my parents. For example, my father asks me to do something that I don't like to do, so I don't do it. So he blames me. I just forget it. I act like he didn't say anything to me. Other people say, "Oh she is very impolite...". Sometimes it's not very good to do the things my father tells me to do. He thinks that he can ask for anything. He always thinks people will do what he wants and I want to change his attitude. I do it because if I listen to my parents it will stop me and the problem will stay the same and no one will be there to change it.

There are some non-governmental organizations who serve this problem, but it's not really good because the problem still happens. The women themselves don't really want to change it and they have no idea what to do. It is a very usual occurrence that many women don't say it is a problem. Women get hurt by the family violence but when they find that other families also face this problem, they think it is simple. They want to change it but how can they do this if they live in a very strict tradition?
TG Magazine / The Students Commission
© 1997 le magazine TG / la Commission des étudiants