Domestic Violence is still seen by many in Cuba as something normal.
HAVANA TIMES – Several days ago Irina Echarry, colleague and friend, wrote a post related to gender violence, specifically about the denunciation made by Dianelis Alfonso -known as La Diosa de Cuba-, and the way in which that case had impacted on Cuban society, which, as Irina rightly says, is a country accustomed to defending and justifying the abuser and offending the victim.
On this subject I could easily write a book, because where I live there are many women mistreated by their husbands, boyfriends or lovers, and unfortunately, they are not limited to my marginal and poor neighborhood. Examples of violence towards women, run the gamut of our society, for example, the case I want to tell you about happened among professionals.
Well the young woman I want to discuss is a university professor, excellent professional, with two small daughters. For many years she was the victim of verbal, physical and psychological abuse by the father (engineer and manager) of her two daughters.
Since I’ve been very close to her, from the beginning of the relationship I saw that coming. You did not have to be a visionary to imagine what would be the outcome of that story that should be about love.
More than once I told her that the man spoke to her in a defiant and threatening tone that I did not like, that he believed himself the owner of the world, and of course, of her.
No girl, she told me, Pedri is harmless. What happens is he has that way about him that is scary, but when you know him well you realize that he is a very humble and good person.
Well, the truth is that Pedro was noble, affectionate, attentive and even gentlemanly, but not with my friend, with the rest of the world, with other people, especially with other women, even with me he was different, so that, if I would not have known his insides well, even I would have believed the good guy story.
But what at first were harsh words with a high tone, little by little became phrases of constant criticism, challenging, threatening.
Then came the screams and offenses; later the blows, the threats to kick her out on the street with her daughters, who were already born by then.
During all those years I was there, suffering with her, witnessing everything, advising them both. I told her to leave, that she could always get ahead, that she was young and could start her life again, because she had a job, and if the salary was not enough she could invent something more as I do and how many women do throughout Cuba, she would not be the first, nor the last.
To him I said plenty; that my friend did not deserve the treatment he gave her, that she was a faithful, hardworking, sacrificed girl. I asked him why he was treating her that way. And always, again and again he put on that face of a helpless puppy and told me: she transforms me, I don’t know what to do, she brings out all the bad things that are in me…
I imagine that many people here would say, poor Pedro, having to put up with an evil woman, always answering back, that takes him out of step, a man who struggles as hard as he. In addition, she has everything she needs and more, he provides her with everything.
Yes, because that is the way many people in Cuba still think. In the 21st century many believe that a man deserves respect and obedience, and the woman must keep silent however she is treated, and always try to please the husband who sacrifices so much to give the family what it needs.
Luckily my friend no longer thinks so and decided to get rid of her chains before it was too late.