My name is Alana. I moved to Hawaii last August 10, 2010. I was born and raised in the Philippines and also finished a Bachelor’s degree in a university. I moved to Hawaii through a fiancée visa and eventually married the man I thought was a dream come true but instead had a life that was unbearable.
I suffered physical, financial, verbal, and emotional abuse. I submitted myself to my husband and did the best I could to save our marriage but was unsuccessful. I tried my hardest to please him. I cooked his meals, cleaned our home, washed his car, ironed his clothes and even bathed him although he is able-bodied. I shined his shoes, put belt on his pants, everything I could do but it was not good enough for him. He called me names such as stupid, dumb, crazy, and incompetent. He called me monkey and that I should go back to the Philippines where monkeys are abound.
I was subjected to his daily verbal abuse. I was sad and depressed and began to lose weight. I cried and cried, and I had no one but myself. My abuser also forced me to watch pornographic materials despite my objection. He would get angry at me all the time. He asked me to sign a pre-nuptial agreement. He instructed me to kneel before and asked me to beg him to marry me.
My suffering continued. His physical abuse increased in frequency. He punched my leg, twisted my arms, and kicked me He forced me to drink pills which he said would help with my depression and later found out they were pills prescribed to him. My life was a living hell. I managed to call the Philippine Consulate and told them what I was going through. They gave me the Domestic Violence Action Center phone number.
I called the following day and I was able to talk to one of the advocates who spoke my language. She is very supportive of me, and asked me information about my husband and what I was going through. From then on I always communicated with her, and she always asked me about my safety. At that time I was so scared, always having second thought of leaving because I didn’t have money and I was scared about my status here in America. My advocate helped me find a part time job while waiting for my work permit. She helped me all throughout my journey to safety and stability. DVAC helped me with my divorce even if I did not have money to pay them.
Looking back, I will always be grateful with DVAC because if not with their tremendous help, I don’t know where I am now.