“I used to sit up at night waiting for him to come home and beat me.”
Motshidisi, Mabeskraal, South Africa

The Radio Presenter

“The media are hugely important because what we don’t show doesn’t exist.” 


Who:
Martha Gomez
What: Journalist who for the last seven years has been broadcasting Tolerancia Cero (“Zero Tolerance”) a radio programme about violence against women.


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 Youth Leader

“Partner violence in Santa Marta has not disappeared, but it is no longer hidden away.”


Who:
Itamar Silva
What:
Runs a project to raise equality awareness in the Grupo Eco youth group in the Santa Marta favela.


The Conversation Group

“If he beats me I’ll leave him – or will I?”


Who:
Lise-Lotte Nielsen and Ann-Margret Fick
What:
Social workers who lead conversation groups for abused women, organised by the social services.


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 Village Mother

“I used to sit up at night waiting for him to come home and beat me.”


Who:
Motshidisi
What:
Uses her position as “village mother” to work against violence and the spread of HIV/AIDS.  

Both Motshidisi’s daughter and her ex-husband died of AIDS. Since then she has talked and talked and talked about the disease - and about the violence. Slowly, people are beginning to respond.


The Plastic Surgeon

“First it’s about saving lives. Then we can start to repair.”   


Who
: Muhammad Mughese Amin
What:
Operates on victims of honour crimes who have been burned by acid or mutilated.


The Police

“Have you got any children he knows aren’t his? Does he spy on you, or leave threatening messages?”


Who:
Family Crimes Division, Department of Police
What:
Prioritise cases of violence against women.  


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.


The Statisticians

“Mutilations are the worst.”


Who:
Aurat Foundation
What:
Create the only statistics on violence against women by reading every word of the country’s newspapers.


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.