“If someone wants to murder me, they will.”
Marisela Ortiz, activist, Juarez, Mexico

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 Veteran

“I said I had two other options: I could become a beggar or a prostitute.”


Who:
Ana Maria Perez del Campo
What: Started a women’s shelter where the women stay for eighteen months. So far no-one has returned to her violent husband after her stay.


The King

“I don’t want my daughter to be a ‘good girl’.”     


Who:
Kgosi Mabe
What:
Uses his position as tribal king to work against violence against women.    


The Village Activists

“You only have to look at the TV series, and how badly the women behave. It’s because they haven’t been circumcised!”


Who:
BLACD (The Better Life Association for Comprehensive Development).
What: Visit the villages to talk about genital mutilation, and have radically changed the situation. These days only one in ten girls undergoes genital mutilation; previously the figure was nine in ten.  


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.”


The Project for Equality

“Damaging women is like killing the roots of the tree.”  


Who:
Mathilde Muhindo
What:
Former parliamentarian who runs a project to promote equality in villages in South Kivu.


The Police Commissioner

“The turning point was 2004, with the new law on violence in the home. Violence against women was no longer a private matter.”


Who
: Adolfina Prieto
What: Heads LIBRA, the special police unit which combats violence against women and also offers survival courses to women who have lived with a dangerous man.


The Police Stations

We needed special stations and police officers who were trained to listen and understand.”


Who:
Women’s police stations
What:
Handle reports to the police and investigate crimes which affect women in relationships.


The Researcher

“It is still the woman who is given the blame. People say it’s her responsibility to hold the family together.”


Who:
Natalia Lokhmatkina
What: PhD in the study of abused women in the Russian healthcare system.


The Pioneers

“As far as the politicians are concerned, it’s a reality that doesn’t exist.”


Who:
Casa Amiga
What: Centre for support and advice for women who have been subjected to violence.

She was a retired accountant who settled in Juarez where, in 1993, she began to notice the many reports in the local paper of young girls who had been found murdered and raped. Why was this spate of murders not attracting any attention?


The Lawyer

“I hope to go to court with my own mother one day, but she doesn’t want to. Not yet.”                    


Who:
Valentina Frolova
What: Lawyer at the Crisis Center for Women in St Petersburg.