“I called the police, who said they would come when I was dead.”
Tatiana, St Petersburg, Russia

The Judge

“We see a lot of trifling matters here at the same time as other victims don’t even report serious crimes such as incest.”


Who:
Paloma Mari
What: Is a judge in one of Spain’s specialised courts for violence against women.


The Activist

“We lesbians are not seen as either women or men.”


Who
: Kunu Semake
What:
Works for the Lesbian and Gay Equality Project, and runs her own youth club.


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 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 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 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 Instructors

“We help the helpless to be able to manage on their own.”


Who:
LAV (Laissez l’ Afrique Vivre)
What:
Offers support and vocational training to young people  - rape victims, child soldiers and street children.

Eight young women sit bent over their treadle sewing machines. They have learned how to thread the machine and pump the treadle at the right speed to sew evenly and safely. Their first task is to sew a straight seam on a piece of paper.


The Home for Young Mothers

“We won’t hide the girls away, they have nothing to be ashamed of and they have rights.”


Who:
Hope Village Society’s home for young mothers.
What: Offers support and education to street children who have become pregnant.