An exhibition that examines domestic violence opened on March 12 in Hanoi, with art on show reflecting the struggles of abused women from all over the country.

Focusing on violence against women and girls, the Smiling Tears exhibition tells the real stories of abused women and their plight to find hope in life instead of living in sorrow and pain.

Violence against women is widespread in Vietnam, with one in every three Vietnamese women being subjected to physical violence during her life.

The exhibition was planned on the occasion of International Women's Day, and has received support from the Norwegian Embassy together with the UN, the Spanish Embassy and three Vietnamese NGOs.

Some of the exhibition's most distressing components are the sad stories told by victims of abuse along with a display of objects their husbands used to torture them. Another space features photos and stories about how victims stood up to their abusers and found a way out.

While the first part of the exhibition represents a dark side to the lives of domestic violence victims, visitors may find inspiration in the stories of hope and change.

An auction of artworks by abused women was also organised during the exhibition. The works are the result of a social event called Circle Painting held in Hanoi and the central province of Nghe An since 2011.

The exhibition will run until March 29 at the Centre for Women's Development, 20 Thuy Khue Street, Hanoi.-VNA