Survivors of abuse tell their stories in the book ‘Breaking the silence’

Inspire other women to break the circle of abuse and get ahead after the pain suffered has become the target of eleven survivors of sexist violence who tell their stories in the book ‘Break the silence. Together we are stronger! ‘.

This title (Penguin Random House, 2021) is the result of a creative writing workshop that the members of the Ana Bella Foundation, association to help battered women, in which they learned tools to tell their own stories.

At the end of the course, some had a complete story that enhanced the empathy, sisterhood, love and empowerment and that, in addition, it could serve as a network and mirror of improvement for other women.

“Giving a voice to women who have been silenced for so long has been one of the most extraordinary experiences. ‘Breaking the Silence’ is a breath of fresh air and strength so that all women who have experienced similar situations Let the protagonists see that there is hope, that a life full of opportunities awaits them ”, said José Rafoso, director of Cursiva and teacher of the course in which the women who have written some of the stories participated.

The initiative was born in July 2018, when Cursiva, the training platform of Penguin Random House, invited the members of Ana Bella to participate in a course that in the end they joined 119 women from Spain, United Kingdom, Mexico, Argentina, USA and Colombia.

As the weeks passed, the stories of Ana Bella, Bettina, Eva, Nieves, Olga, Vanessa, Juanita, Laura, Ana, Ángela and Verónica and many more were taking shape and it was there when they decided that this was the way to tell. to the world, and to other women, their life experiences.

“In Spain there are millions of wonderful men willing to commit to a healthy relationship in which women can be very happy and feel loved. Nevertheless, one in ten men still mistreat their partner. An abuser can be anyone: a lawyer, a policeman, a judge, a plumber, a minister, a businessman, a mayor … As was my ex-husband for eleven years “, Ana Bella Estévez writes in the book.

“But after eleven years suffering mistreatment, humiliation, humiliation, silence punishments, prohibitions, beatings, tests, insults, belts and scorn, I was already running out of strength to resist and I suggested to him that if he wasn’t happy with me, instead of hitting me maybe it would be better if we parted ways. He stared at me. “No, little girl, no …!” -he told me-. You will never part from me, because ours is LOVE OR DEATH! “, he describes in his chapter.

The testimonies of these survivors are accompanied by other fictional stories that the authors Laura Ferrero, Vanessa Montfort, María Reig, Mónica G. Prieto and Adriana Moragues have written for the occasion.

What’s more, the cover is by the Chilean artist and illustrator Luisa Rivera, whose figurative style and flat colors has already been reflected in the illustrated editions of ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ and ‘Love in the Times of Cholera’, by Gabriel García Márquez.

“Breaking the Silence. Together we are stronger!” can only be purchased on the website of the Ana Bella Foundation.

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