Week Three of Women's History Month!
Here at East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, we'll focus each week during March on women from the communities that EBSC serves. For Week Three, EBSC is shining a light on survivors of domestic violence, through Marisol's story:
I was born in Oaxaca, Mexico. My childhood was great. I had a wonderful relationship with both my parents and siblings. Even though my sister was helping us by sending money to our family from the U.S., we still continued struggling. I decided that I also needed to come to the States to help my family. After an unsuccessful attempt in 2007, I entered the U.S. in 2008.
I met my former boyfriend Luis in 2011. He seemed very honest and loving. We moved in together with a good friend of mine. Over time, Luis started to change. He started to do drugs and became violent towards me. There were several instances that I thought that he would kill me. He often grabbed me by my neck and tried to strangle me. One night he almost choked me to death. The friend who we lived with never saw anything, because Luis threatened me and hit me when she was not at home. He never left me with noticeable bruises, except for one time where he punched me and cut my lip open.
In 2013 I got a restraining order against Luis. I was so scared, but I knew that I had to do it. Even with the restraining order, I no longer felt safe walking home from work. I had coworkers and my friend pick me up and drop me off at my house. I also lost my appetite. I fell into a depression; I constantly was crying and would relive what had occurred with Luis. I wanted to seal my feelings away.
Over time, I tried to move forward with my life. I lost a lot of trust with men. It was very hard for me to be able to trust anyone. My sister would force me to go out and meet new people, but I felt very scared. I didn't want anyone to hurt me again. In 2014, I decided to try to be open to people and I met Juan. We married in 2016. Our relationship is great and we're so happy with each other.
Now that I'm at the start of the process of applying for a U-visa at East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, I understand that the best way to heal my wounds is by talking about my experiences. I hope that by telling my story I can help another woman going through a similar situation to feel less alone.
Every day, EBSC supports women like Marisol with their U-visa application. Will you make a donation today to EBSC to thank Marisol for her courage in speaking out?