Nhi’s Story


Nhi is a proud mother of two. Her journey has not been easy, but she is tenacious, resilient, and a fast learner. In January of 2016, Nhi’s husband, a man who she loved, sexually abused their two young children. This was the breaking point for Nhi – after years of physical abuse, she decided to run away with her son and daughter. Nhi sought refuge at Hagar’s Recovery Centre.

When they first came into Hagar’s care, Nhi and both of her children were experiencing high levels of post-traumatic stress. Nhi was quick to anger, and she would isolate herself when she felt depressed. Her children were hyperactive and struggled to concentrate. They wouldn’t follow the rules of the centre, and it was challenging for the Hagar staff that worked there to connect with her.

Nhi was faced with two options. She desperately wanted justice. She wanted to bring her husband to court and see him face the consequences of his decisions. On the other hand, Nhi was deeply concerned about the mental and emotional health of her children, and how pursing the prosecution of their father may affect them. After careful consideration and advice from Hagar’s psychologists, she decided to focus on helping her children heal and recover first.

Today, Nhi and her children are on the road to recovery. She is learning how to help her children. Nhi has learnt that children mirror emotions, so she now tries be calm around her children so that they have a sense of stability. She is focusing on building warm, happy, and safe relationships with her son and daughter.

Hagar staff worked with Nhi and her children to develop a list of expected behaviors with consequences called “the way to success” for her children. They’re changing for the better. They’ve learnt the importance of saying sorry after making mistakes, her daughter makes sure she brushes her teeth before going to sleep every evening, and is getting along better with her older brother. The brother is doing well at concentrating during class and is less hyperactive. The children are now learning how to behave well based on a sense of ownership and pride.

Nhi is very happy to see change in her children. They are less aggressive, better listeners, and closer friends. Nhi has developed the confidence to take initiative in her own life. She makes toys for her children and even organized a social event for Hagar staff and clients.

Nhi is very engaged in learning English, and she’s learning quickly and well. The volunteer who is teaching Nhi English shares, “I’m worried Nhi’s English learning capability will at some point outgrow my teaching capacity. She has something new every week; she is so engaged, and she did well just because she wants to.”

*Hagar pursues the highest degree of care and protection for its clients; names have been changed and images do not necessarily reflect the individual profiled.