Hoang Thi Nam, 23 was murdered by her Korean husband Lim Chae Won, 37.
Last month, a South Korean man named Lim Chae Won stabbed his Vietnamese wife Hoang Thi Nam to death as their baby lay next to her.
Last year, a mentally challenged Korean man murdered his Vietnamese wife after one week of marriage.
That same year, a Vietnamese bride, unable to communicate to anyone because she didn’t know Korean, ran away after being sexually assaulted multiple times by her Korean husband.
In 2008, a Vietnamese bride committed suicide due to her inability to assimilate into Korean culture and her feelings of stress and alienation thereof.
In 2007, a Vietnamese bride was found dead, beaten to death, in her Korean husband’s basement.
That same year, a Vietnamese bride tried to escape from the 9th floor of her Korean husband’s apartment complex but fell to her death after her makeshift rope tore apart.
News reports of abuse, murders, and suicides of Vietnamese brides in South Korea have been piling up for the last couple of years. Why has there been so little done by government officials? Cambodian government officials temporarily stopped the flow of foreign brides out of their country in 2008, and earlier this year, the Cambodian government placed a ban on foreign men over the age of 50 marrying local women (a move which many have contested as discriminatory). Is it time for Vietnam or South Korea to do something similar to protect potential brides from violence abroad?
Currently in South Korea, there are about 19,000 Vietnamese brides. Most of these women are married into families with unknown economic and medical backgrounds. As a result, many brides find themselves forced into poor households or wedded to husbands with serious mental or physical health issues. Social and economic problems follow brides long into marriage. According to government surveys, a Global Post article reports, 60% of multicultural families in South Korea are living in poverty, and only 26.5% of multiethnic children make it to high school. According to the article, “Mixed families struggle economically and multiethnic children don’t fare as well academically as fully Korean kids.”
So what changes should be made to the system?
On the brokerage end, better screening will help new brides enter a safe home without abuse and life threatening situations. Also, considering Korea’s homogeneous culture, the Korean government could do more to help brides assimilate into Korean culture and learn the language: “South Korea is turning a blind eye to its rapidly changing demographics and the obstacles of integration,” the Global Post article asserts. These changes would allow better facilitation of the foreign bride process. It’s clear that exploitation is not monitored, but doing so can ensure safety and easier assimilation. Attention to changing demographics can also open Korea up to unexpected but positive changes.
What are your thoughts on the foreign bride situation? Should we rally to a better system, or should be ban bride brokering entirely?
I really don’t understand what the big deal about marrying Koreans is. For starter, these guys are the bottom of the barrel. They’re poor and cannot find a woman at home. Furthermore, Korea is not such a rich country as most people thing b/c tons of them come to the US to waitress so they can earn money.
Maybe better education would achieve some success.
Let me put a big proposal out there: Maybe if the Vietnamese are lifted
out of crushing poverty, their parents don’t have to sell their
daughters to earn a little bit money.
It’s not just a social issue. It’s also a policy issue.
Speaking of which I need to Korean Massage Palours to ‘revenge my people’ or translated to ‘tra thu da^n to^.c’ .
Jennie Le says
I think you bring up a ton of good points! Education, awareness, policy, among other things can be looked at in a bigger picture to solve more problems than just Vietnamese brides being married off to dangerous strangers.
Wow, really? The bottom of the barrel? At least they still have their alphabet. Where’s the original Viet alphabet? Oh that’s right, the French took that away from you. THE FRENCH. LOL.
@ ArchangelZero1, your comment just showed everyone how ignorant you are. The current Vietnamese alphabet was created by a Christian missioner with the help of vietnamese scholars many years before the French took control of Vietnam. By the way, the original Vietnamese alphabet was destroyed by the Chinese (through burnings of Vietnamese literatures) during their thousand years conquest of Vietnam. Get out of your cave and get your facts straight!
Great article. I especially like the links that supplemented the topic.
I agree with the previous poster that the best approach should be to rectify the problem at its source; however, I do not see the likelihood of that happening in the near future. Poverty is not an easily solvable problem. Ideally, the VN government should ban bride brokering entirely. In the meantime, it seems like one immediate impact could be made by the VN government if they enact strict laws for regulating the marriage brokers and holding them responsible for the welfare of their clients. Hold the brokers accountable for their clients’ welfare not only initially but also for a period of time after they start life abroad. This would, at least, reduce the number of illegal exploitative brokers and insure those brokers that break the law will be severely punished. At least with law comes the possibility of better regulation.
Alternatively, through enacted law, require the brokers to educate their clients with the necessary linguistic, cultural, and economic information necessary for surviving in the new culture. This should quickly reduce the number illegal (and legal) brokers. There’s nothing like over-regulation to dampen a business activity.
Although less heard about in the news, I found out this problem also affects Vietnamese women marrying Singaporean men.
note: i am a usa man and i think korea women and vietnamese women look allmost the same////the korea man is poor so how does he bring vn women to korea///some one is lieing here/////i like asian women the vn women just want a better life they are one of a kind/////they are good women so the men are dumer then dumer……..i have been to korea and vietnam….you dum ass korea men get a life….your not very smart…….leave the women be……………
William, the way you write, I’m not surprised the rest of the world thinks we’re a bunch of idiots in the U.S.
No, if people ever think of us as a bunch of idiots, it’s because we have people like you ArchangelZero1 !
you guys be a man….women are small not man i every see a man hit a women i will be there and stop the little baby man………..won’t be nothing left of him when i done…….i am 7’6″ 465lbs. you want to met me…baby boys that hurt women
William, be a man and join the NFL.
Jennie, thank you for raising the awareness of violence against women in this sector of our society. The truth is, violence against women does not begin or stop with Korean and Vietnamese marraiges. Canadian or US governments and NGOs have already published endless statistics and reports of various degrees of violence against women in our North American cities. On a more personal level, you and I might even know of female friends and relatives who are living with an abusive partner or family members. Hence, I believe this is a serious topic which deserves to reach beyond the boundary of “marriage between Korean and Vietnamese”. Before we proceed to mirror the marriage ban of the Cambodian government, it is critical for us to separate men who beats and kills their wives from the colour of their skin and the ethnicity of their families. In other words, some of our Vietnamese men have also committed the very same deed toward their own partners. As daughters of such abusive fathers, some if not a majority of these women grow up assuming that wife beating is a norm in every relationship. Like most of you, I also believe in the advocacy of greater access for women, the enforced rules and regulations from the government, and the access to better paying jobs for female workers. The above noted social policies and infrastructure requires money, time and personnel to operate. More often than not, rapid and effective social and cultural changes do not derived from the top down model (Institution to individuals). Instead, we , the individuals, should begin the process to examine our own attitude toward women in our lives. United in our belief and in our practice, we can choose to speak against violence against our female relatives and friends in our immediate circle. PS: Jennie, keep up the good work and I would love to read another thought provoking article from you in the near future. Thank you.
Jennie, you are the voice and the backbone for those vietnamese women in Viet Nam. You should do more for those less are less having an opportunity like you. Korean Men are the worst kind in the human race , so that their women seeking for else where.
That’s a pretty harsh generalization. Vietnamese women have been marrying outside their borders for decades. And if Korean men are the worst kind in the human race, and Vietnamese women are marrying them, what incredible compliment does it say about Vietnamese men? I’m just saying…