“I don’t remember the first time he hit me because violence always existed. His love frightened me, but I thought it was normal because I lived surrounded by stories of beaten women. When I started dating him at high school in Paillaco, when I was 13 years old, he watched me and did not let me have friends. Then I got pregnant with my first daughter at 15 and went to live with him and his parents. During those months, the only place where he hit me was in the stomach, and although his parents knew about it, nobody did anything. His mother kept telling me that life was like that and women had to put up with it. 

I always planned to continue studying, so I finished school and entered a nursing technician in Valdivia. I wanted to be autonomous, have my money, and separate myself, but I could not. In addition to taking my money and using my card as he wanted, he forced me to marry him. The blows continued, and although they were hard, over the years, they stopped hurting. It was rare that a day went by without hitting me. I would look in the mirror and ask myself why he did it if I gave him no reason: I didn’t go out, kept the house, and never said no. He was cruel. He could beat me on the floor for half an hour and then ask me to get up with a smile and serve him eleven. Only my mom and a friend knew what I was going through. That’s why he tried to make me hit from the neck down: he didn’t want anyone to know. When punched in the face, I tried to cover it up with makeup or makeup. I was acquiring all the skills so that no one would suspect. I was self-medicating with antidepressants. He taught me not to show my sadness: putting on a mask and smiling was important. 


“The only thing I asked was to please not overdo it. He had forbidden me to die for my daughters.”

When my second daughter was born, everything got even worse. I asked him not to kill me: I was forbidden to die. On one occasion, it hit me so hard that I had to stay in bed for 15 days, unable to go to work. And when I got up, the first thing he did was hit me again. I was terrified for our lives. The day I returned to work, I left early and left my daughters at my mother’s. I arrived at the office pretending to be a doctor. I arrived at the office pretending that everything was fine. My colleagues celebrated my arrival because I was the one who brightened up the atmosphere.

Meanwhile, my husband was desperately calling me on the office phone. I didn’t want to answer. After 20 minutes he arrived. When I saw him enter with his uncontrolled face, I thought he would kill me with the gun he had put in my head so many times. I hid behind my friends, but he grabbed me by the hair and started hitting me as usual. Those who tried to defend me ended up wounded. I was just trying not to resist. I let myself die there until suddenly I felt a woman dressed in white intervene. I woke up on a stretcher. I was surrounded by my friends, all crying. My body was broken, but I wasn’t in any pain.

The first thing I did was call my mom to ask her to hide my daughter. And then I thought about going back home as fast as I could so he wouldn’t get mad. But my boss wouldn’t let me. She had filed a report, and there was no turning back. I went straight from the hospital to a foster home with my daughters. I was sick and needed help. I always think I would be dead today if I had not gone to work that day. The foster care experience was challenging. My eldest daughter felt a lot of guilt: he had always told her he would take his own life the day we left. It was hard to accept the new reality and assume that what was happening to us was severe. After six months, I managed to escape and began to rebuild my life with many difficulties because he was still at large, and the danger of him attacking me again was latent. After three years, I can say that I feel strong, am no longer the same as always, and love myself. I got married again: when you manage to love yourself, you know what you want for your life. I still have the pains and scars that remind me of everything I lived through. He was only in prison for two years, and today he is free again, so I no longer expect anything. If I could have a magic wand, I would erase everything we had to go through, especially for my eldest daughter, who suffered so much psychological violence and threats. But unfortunately, the past will always be there, with the big difference we have learned to overcome. Today I work so that other women do not experience what I did. I am a Sernam monitor and participated in different events in Paillaco, some with my daughters, to prevent violence against women”.