“My abusers will win if I don’t make something of my life.”
Nicole, Hartford, USA

The Inspiration For A Law

The number of cases reported to the police is growing by the day.”


Who:
Maria Da Penha
What:
Brazil’s new law on violence against women bears her name. She herself runs an institute to spread information about the law.


The Psychologists

“When I started working I was naive, and my aim was to have families reunited.”


Who:
Elena Zolotilova and Tatiana Pavlova
What: Fighting to open the city’s first women’s shelter.


The Support Person

“Those four months changed my life.”


Who:
Paulina Bengtson
What:
Runs Novahuset, a voluntary association which supports victims of sexual assault.

“Actually, I had a feeling straight away that something was wrong. He looked like someone from the Mafia, not at all as gentle as he’d seemed. But I was gullible and ignored my own warning signals. I was used to trusting people.”


The Listeners

“Conversation could do more good than all the medicine in the world.”


Who:
CAMPS (Centre D’Assistance Medico–Psychosociale)
What:
Gives psychosocial support to families who have been subjected to violence in South Kivu.


The Mothers

“Why didn’t the police show me the whole of my daughter’s body, just a left foot which was sticking out?”


Who:
Rosaura Montañez
What: Member of a network of mothers who have lost daughters. 

Araceli disappeared on the 30th of June 1995 and was found four days later on a refuse tip on the southern outskirts of the city. She had been raped and strangled. She was 19 years old. No-one has been found guilty of her murder.


The Midwife

“When I look back on it, I feel genuine regret and compassion.” 


Who:
Enayat Abdelhanid
What: Midwife who has changed her opinion and is now opposed to genital mutilation.

“I used to circumcise up to twenty girls a day, and I was paid in money, tea and sugar. We used to cut out three parts. We held the girl down and she usually screamed. When I look back on it, I feel genuine regret and compassion.”


Sisters

“The law protects victims of terrorism but not families like ours.” 


Who:
Carmen Sanchez and Ana Ortiz Salvador
What: Organise relatives of murdered women. 


The Women’s House

“We give all the women a make-over; it helps them feel that they have become a new person.”


Who:
Sin Violencia
What: Takes in women from around 40 women’s shelters all over Mexico.


The men’s movement

“Violence is about control. It’s the loss of control that triggers violence.”  


Who:
Alexander Gogolkin
What: Leads M21, which works both for greater gender equality, and with the treatment of violent men.  


The School for Fathers

“The most important thing is that the men don’t need to feel they are alone with their questions, feelings and expectations.”


Who:
Sergey Zakharow
What: Child psychologist who holds courses for fathers-to-be. 


The Therapist

Is your family more important than you yourself?


Who:
Maria Cristina D’Almeida Marques
What:
Runs group therapy sessions and offers counselling to abused women.

“Someone who lives in a violent relationship loses track of time and appointments – in fact, of everything that’s going on around her,” says therapist Maria Cristina D’Almeida Marques. “A woman who is the victim of violence focuses on the man and his demands.”