During an interview on the program Entre Líderes, María Trusa, founder of the Yo Digo No Más Movement, shared her story as a survivor of sexual abuse and successful entrepreneur. Unlike many of the victims of this scourge, she decided to become a survivor and today she fights for all those who have experienced the same as her, to be the voice of those who have no voice.
“Many people go through traumas that destroy you or turn you into a rock, a rock that no one can break and the rock starts to grow and create.” For María that is what happened in her case, that traumatic experience that destroyed her for years, turned her into a strong and resilient woman who today sets her life purpose in preventing more people from suffering sexual abuse.
And although she says that she still feels the effects of the trauma she experienced when her father, at the age of nine, gave her to a man who forced her to drink liquor and abused her, causing injuries that even required surgery, today she is the one who manages her life, not her story.
Through the book “Yo Digo No Más”, which María wrote at her son’s request, she realized that this is not just her story, it is the story of many others, and it is urgent to take action to prevent sexual abuse.
Silence fuels the silent pandemic.
In most cases of sexual abuse, the perpetrator is someone close to the victim and although the full effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in relation to sexual violence are not yet known with certainty, there is talk of a significant increase in cases, which would be given by the increased cohabitation of the victims with their aggressors.
However, it is not only the pandemic that has had repercussions. The factor that most affects people is that sexual abuse is not talked about; this topic is still taboo in the communities and the silence it generates is what continues to feed this scourge.
Breaking the silence and educating ourselves about the signs of sexual abuse and its prevention is the only way to stop this silent pandemic. That is why María has decided to focus on educating parents and caregivers of children and adolescents.
Beware of digital sexual abuse
While the Internet is a wealth of resources and benefits for different areas of life, it has also created great challenges for parents, who, although in many cases do not know much about technology, are called upon to protect their children from all the risks to which they are exposed in the digital world.
On this path, it is important to be attentive and to be able to have open conversations with children, always with affection and respect. Likewise, it is essential to identify the different forms of sexual abuse, since not only penetration determines abuse, but it has many manifestations and some of them can be enhanced by technological tools.
A message of hope
It was only through forgiveness that Maria was able to begin her healing process. That is why she wants to share with other survivors her experience and the tools that have led her to become a resilient person and works every day to share a message of hope that invites those who have suffered sexual violence to stop being victims and become survivors and creators.
A Dream Come True
In conjunction with the Mayor’s Office and the Yonkers School District, this April 30th at 11:00 a.m., the First I Say No More to Sexual Violence March will take place. It will be a one-mile walk between Yonkers City Hall and the Eugenio María de Hostos School where workshops will be held with expert psychologists and there will also be spaces for fun.
“I am waiting for all of you because this movement is not my movement, it is your movement. We all must unite to break the chains of sexual abuse and say No More”, María Trusa.
Listen to the complete interview on Entre Líderes YouTube channel.