I’m so happy today!
I’ve just received a phone call from a friend. Some years ago, she was beaten up by an ex-boyfriend. She was deeply traumatised, but fear didn’t prevent her from doing the right thing. She pressed charges against him.
Today her aggressor was convicted.
It’s amazing how women victims of violence are still seen by society, especially by other women, as weak people who probably got what they deserved, who probably did something wrong to deserve punishment, or that simply deserved it because it’s their fault that they are weak. The sense of hopelessness and shame prevents many to denounce their aggressors, or even to share what happened to them with someone else.
There are many women alienated by their owners who control their minds that they don’t even realise that they have rights. They interiorise the idea that it’s them who misbehaved, thereby rightly deserving punishment.
My friend too was depicted as a weak person, especially by her colleagues at work, who loved to gossip about the fact that she often had to go on medical-psychiatric leave. The fact that she is a beautiful, elegant woman only added fuel to the gossip, by generating envy. So, not only she had been subjected to physical and psychological abuse by her former boyfriend, but she was also morally harrassed at work, receiving no solidarity except from a few friends.
Today my friend had her dignity restored. She was given justice, AND she also proved that she is not a weak person, but in fact a very strong woman.
In only some hours, already four women who work in the same company have approached her to tell her that they too are victims of violence.
…In this year only, as much as 17 women may have been killed in Portugal by their husbands/boyfriends/whatever-you-want-to-call-them, acording to UMAR, a feminist NGO.
Here is some very useful information for women victims of domestic violence compiled by the portuguese NGO APAV (in portuguese).