During the second installment of her interview with Enny Pichardo on the Enny Con Más program, María Trusa, founder of the Yo Digo No Más Movement, talked about her healing process, the social norms that make us more vulnerable to sexual violence and gender-based violence.
After her experience of sexual abuse at a young age, María was unaware of how destroyed she was until she lost control with her son one night at the age of 20. At that moment she decided to heal her heart so as not to hurt her son, who became her first accelerator.
For her, the success she has today is thanks to the fact that she was able to rebuild herself and rewrite her story. And today, she says that she has a relationship with her children that fills her completely and makes her the happy woman she is, because for her the role of mother is the most important.
Work on loving oneself
The issue of relationships is perhaps the one that has demanded the most work in María to heal, and she explains that she continues to work in this area. She was married at the age of 17 to a Dominican man and at that time she did not love herself and did not want to have sex, but was forced to do so, “this is abuse,” she stresses. “We are taught that when you get married you must give your body to your husband whenever he wants. These social norms have to be changed,” she said.
Today María can say that she loves her body, but this is the result of a long time of work that began with healing, because part of healing is to be able to love your body, which is something that is destroyed when you are abused.
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A message for victims of gender violence
For Maria, each person has the right to decide what they want to be, to be happy and to accept themselves the way they want to be, but she emphasizes that it is essential to love themselves and to see themselves as someone who has rights. Abuse destroys self-esteem and makes its victims think that anyone can abuse them whenever they want.
Therefore, she urges people to love themselves a little more every day, to be aware that victims do not deserve what happened to them and that despite this destruction, it is time to decide not to continue being a victim, to create and help other people.
At Yo Digo No Más we help others
María also stressed that the Yo Digo No Más Movement is open to all people regardless of issues such as gender orientation. Through it, survivors can share their story and find support no matter where they are.
She also referred to the educational component that the movement wants to promote and to the Talk Show, in which people who have been abused come to share their story for the first time, to break their silence.
The message of the march
The First I Say No More to Sexual Violence March, to be held on April 30th in Yonkers, is a dream come true for María, who explained that from the origin of her movement she wanted it to make history. Through this march, education about ‘the silent pandemic’ of sexual abuse is being brought to another level.
For this awareness day we have the support of the mayor of Yonkers, the superintendent of the Yonkers school. There we are generating knowledge for children, social workers, teachers, parents and the community.
“United we will break the chains of sexual abuse. We need thousands of people to join us to say ‘No More’ together. We need your support,” Maria concluded.
Find the full interview on the Enny Con Más digital channel.