SINGAPORE - Indonesian housewife Christine (not her real name) was a prisoner of her husband's jealousy and rage for more than 20 years.
The Singaporean security guard in his 50s exerted a stifling control over her life, and if she didn't agree with him, he would hit her.
He banned Christine, who is in her 40s, from going out on her own, except to accompany the children to and from school. Even then, she had to call him before she left home and when she got back. They have four children, aged seven to 18.
Christine was not allowed to make friends, and her husband did not like her calling her family back home. He did not give her spending money, and made her wear baggy clothes that concealed her figure.
She said: "He was very jealous and controlled everything. He kept accusing me of having another man, and cheating him of his money. "
She would end up bruised and aching from his slaps and punches. "My house was like a boxing ring. We fought every day and there was never any peace," she said.
Christine, who is holding a Long-Term Visit Pass-Plus, said she tolerated his abuse for her children's sake. Also, she had no idea where to get help.
Her husband threatened her that she would be deported or jailed if she divorced him. He also vowed to separate her from the children if she left.
Recently, her son called the police after witnessing yet another attack on her. They advised her to take out a personal protection order against her husband, and she did. She and the children have since left their home and she is working as a cleaner. She also plans to get a divorce.
She said: "I feel happier as I now have freedom. Nobody scolds me or hits me."
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