"The strategy to live with my abuser is submission"

The covid-19 health emergency has forced women to live with their assailants. Some have had to learn to cope

  • 15/04/2020
  • 19:30 hrs
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The strategy to live with my abuser is submission
"The strategy to live with my abuser is submission" (Photo: Pexels)

Women who are living with their abusers have to hide to ask for help. One case is that of Chloé, who goes to the bathroom of her house to speak while her abuser watches the television.

The following is an extract written to a helpline offered by an association in Madrid, Spain: "I am like his slave, I have to do everything he wants and how he wants it. If I speak, it bothers him, if I sleep it bothers him, if I don't clean the bathroom as he wants, it bothers him. I can't "live" 24 hours.

Chloé was in the process of a divorce when the pandemic was declared. Their daughter also lives with them. He hasn't limited himself to go out for essentials, thus putting them at risk. "I'm crippled, and I can't go out, so he controls my food and medication, and when he gets angry, he plays loud to music to punish us." This case is not far from the situation in Mexico.

Wendy Figueroa from the National Network of Refugees commented for La Cadera de Eva that women victims of violence who are living with their aggressor should also look for spaces to vent or ask for help. In Spain, as reported by the newspaper El Confidencial, calls to the emergency number 016 for gender violence have increased by 12.46%. In Mexico, we only have figures until February. Causa en Común pointed out that they have increased by 7 percent.

However, only 30 percent of them have been investigated. Ana Bella, president of the foundation with the same name, points out that complaints of psychological abuse, dominance and sexual abuse have increased; Regarding physical violence, it has decreased because neighbors can hear. Although Spanish authorities have indicated that complaints of gender violence have decreased, NGOs point out that this has happened because many do not know that they can report. Others cannot even leave due to the situation that is being experienced.

(Traducción: Valentina K. Yanes)