“Apparently I was happy, I had a normal life. I didn’t relised that I was suffering gender violence”. In 2016, María, who was suffering gender violence for years, joined forces to go to a social worker that referred her to the Women’s Area at Movimiento por la Paz –MPDL–.
María came for legal advice on the divorce procedure without having taken the decision of divorce yet. It is in that moment when, from the legal intervention and behind the need of information, the relation of violence was detected. Colleagues from the Women’s Area at Movimiento por la Paz analysed the situation and proposed her to initiate a social and psychological intervention. María accepted. Since that moment, interventions began aiming at supporting her to make visible the violence she suffered, to begin a decision-making process not based on self-blame, as she was doing so far, and to build a future where she was the main character.
“I’ve realiced that what I was living wasn’t normal, it was violence”, María explains. The Women’s Area provides orientation and support at social, legal, psychological and socio-labour level to women victims of violence or in situation of social vulnerability in order to support them to undertake a new life project with autonomy. “I opened my eyes, I realised that I had the right to an easy-going life, to laugh, to dress as I like. I also had the right to many things”. María dennounced her husband and is currently involved in the divorce process and custody of their children. She is still in the overcoming and personal empowerment phase, but with strength and will of going forward. “I have many dreams. One of the things I wanted to do when I was young is studying and I had to give up”, María underlines. “And I want to do it now, I want to study, I want to be with my children. I want to live in peace and quiet, and help my children get ahead”.