Thanks to UMC #GivingTuesday donations made last year to Women and Community, Advance #13285A, in San Francisco Libre, Nicaragua, women are able to protect themselves from domestic abuse and violence. Not only do they receive the psychological, legal, and monetary assistance they need to confront these situations, they also come to a deeper understanding of their human rights as women, which empowers them.
Lucy (not her real name) was one of these women.
"I was 15 years old when I met my partner, a 32-year-old farmer from my community. When I got pregnant with my son, he began to mistreat me and accused me of looking for other men. He said I was stupid and no good. After I gave birth to my son, he began to drink heavily. This is when the abuse got worse. He would toss my clothes, the television, table, and utensils, and he would beat me.
I talked with his mom about it, and he got a little better. After the birth of my second child, a daughter, he returned to the same behavior. His mother begged me not to put him in jail, so I did not file a police report. But he threatened me by saying that if I denounced him he would kill himself.
I couldn't take this anymore. My little girl, who is only 8 years old, is very afraid when she sees him coming home drunk."
Lucy went to Women and Community's Women's Human Rights program, where she got help filing charges against her partner. Thanks to Women and Community, a representative of the government's Ministry of the Family visited her and accompanied her to the police station and to the forensics office. A Women and Community lawyer was by Lucy's side during the whole process.
"I did not want to accuse my partner, but in the end I had to do it. My problem was serious — psychological violence, physical violence, and sexual abuse," said Lucy.
Adapted from General Board of Global Ministries website
The Advance is the accountable, designated-giving arm of The United Methodist Church. The Advance invites contributors to designate support for projects related to the General Board of Global Ministries. Individuals, local churches, organizations, districts and annual conferences may donate to The Advance. One hundred percent of every gift to The Advance goes to the project selected by the giver.