About Mil Mujeres
Central American Woman Wins U-visa Case
February 17, 2012
My name is Monica*. I am in my thirties and was born in Central America. I have been living in the United states since the 2000s. I am a survivor of domestic violence at the hands of Julio, my former intimate partner, who abused me physically and psychologically, almost killing me with a knife one day when I tried to leave him. He waited for me outside my new home and when I got out of my car, he stabbed me 13 times and left me on the street struggling for life. When the ambulance arrived I was almost dead, but thankfully I survived. With the help of Mil Mujeres I won my U-visa case and feel safe now with legal status, permission to work in the United States, and the opportunity for my children to have a better future.
Guatemalan Woman Wins Asylum Case
April 5. 2013
My name is Alejandra*. I am in my fifties and I was born in Guatemala. I fled to the United States in 2009, because I feared that my ex-husband would kill me. My ex-husband works as a bodyguard for a drug trafficking organization in Guatemala. He had a very traditional view of marriage; he thought that men owned and controlled women. One month after we started living together, he raped me. Sometimes I would resist, and he would get angry and hit me with a gun. One time, I refused to have sex with him and he went to find my 9 year old daughter and raped her. When I discovered what happened, I confronted my ex-husband and told him to leave our home. He did not listen to me. He forced me to leave my home behind at gunpoint and took me to a remote indigenous area where I did not speak the language. I was imprisoned by him for one year and attempted to escape. During that time I was subjected to brutal physical and sexual violence on a daily basis. He told me that he could do whatever he wanted because I was his wife which made me his property. I was finally able to escape the horrible situation and I fled to the United States. With the help of Mil Mujeres, I filed for asylum based on my fear of gender-based domestic violence. Thankfully, I won the asylum case in April of 2013. I am so happy to know that I am safe and that I do not have to fear going back to my country where I would be in danger because of my ex-husband.
Honduran Woman Wins T-Visa Case
April 10, 2013
My name is Sara*. I am thirty two years old and I was born in Honduras. I came to the United States trying to escape from an abusive husband who raped me and physical abused me throughout the entire relationship. My first goal when I came to the United States was to find a job so I could send money to my family in Honduras. I stayed in Texas at first, but I decided to leave for New York to look for better opportunities. I left Texas in October of 2008. I saw ads about a van service that would transport you to different states for cheap. I got into a van that would drop everyone off in Silver Spring, MD and then switched to a van going to New York. While in the van, I started talking to the driver and owner of the van about my plans to go to New York. She told me that if I came back to Maryland to work for her that she would give me a stable job as a waitress at $300/week, with free room and board and extra money from tips. I thought hard about my situation. I did not know anyone in New York, and so I accepted the offer and went to Maryland to live with her. That was a big mistake. I was put in a cold storage room with no bed or furniture, not even a blanket, and I was forced to sleep on the floor. I was watched all the time by the woman and her relatives. I was never alone unless I was in the cold storage room. I was forced to work in the restaurant and the woman never paid me. She took my identity documents and told me that if I ran away she would harm my family in Honduras. She forced me to dance provocatively to the restaurant patrons and collect money from these patrons.
She told me that I had to let them touch me, and several of them touched and groped my breasts. I felt that I was being exploited and used sexually but I had no way of stopping it. The woman had total control over me for many reasons. I finally managed to escape in December of 2008. I told the police what happened and they began to investigate the woman who trafficked me. She was eventually charged and found guilty for what she did. With the help of Mil Mujeres, I won my T-visa case in April of 2013 and feel safe now with legal status, permission to work in the United States, and the opportunity to bring my children here from Honduras.
El Salvadoran Woman Wins U-Visa Case
July 29, 2013
My name is Paula*. I am in my twenties and was born in El Salvador. I have been living in the United States since 2008. I am the survivor of sexual assault. One day in 2011, I left to go to work in the afternoon. I got lost and was walking in an alley when I was approached by two men and one woman. They forced me into their van and cut my shirt and bra off with a knife. They were laughing and the took my clothes off. I told them to stop and that I had AIDS. The men just put condoms on and raped me. I felt so numb and disoriented. They dropped me off around where they had picked me up.
I was shaking and then they took my shoes off and with the blade of a can cut the bottom of my feet and said: “Stay there! don’t call police!” I told the police what happened and they are searching for the men and woman who raped me. It was a nightmare. I am dealing with sadness, nightmares, and flashbacks. With the help of Mil Mujeres, I won my U-visa case in July of 2013. I still have a lot of healing to do, but it really helps to know that I can be safe here with legal status and permission to work in the United States.
Mexican Woman Wins U-Visa Case
November 6, 2012
My name is Laura*. I am in my thirties and I was born in Mexico. I have been living in the United States since the late 1990s. I am a survivor of domestic violence at the hands of Pedro*, my former husband, who abused me physically and psychologically. One day he got home late to the house and tried to touch me and I didn’t let him because he was drunk. He grabbed me by the hair and took me out into the living room where two of his friends were and he hit me in the street. My sister called the police and they came and made a report of what happened. Later, a letter arrived at the house from the District Attorney’s office that said I had charges against Pedro for domestic violence. He became furious and he started to beat me. He grabbed me by the neck like he wanted to strangle me and he was screaming, telling me that he was going to kill me. My sister called the police and when they arrived he was choking me and it was the police that pulled him off of me. Pedro was put in jail and I divorced him and finally was able to escape his abuse. With the help of Mil Mujeres, I won my U-visa case in November of 2012. I am so happy to know that I will have a future, but I am even happier to know that my children will have a future with a mom who won’t be deported by immigration.
Mexican Woman Wins U-visa Case
November 28, 2011
My name is Antonia*. I am 33 years old and was born in Mexico. I have been living in the United States since 2007. I have a two-year-old son who was born in the United States. I am a survivor of domestic violence. My ex partner, Johnathan*, physically and emotionally abused me. With the assistance of Mil Mujeres, this month I won my U-visa case and have legal immigration status and work authorization.
I came to the United States in 2007 looking for job opportunities. I met Johnathan because he was a friend of a friend of mine. We started dating and I fell in love with him. A couple months later we decided to live together, and after seven months I got pregnant. After I got pregnant his behavior completely changed. He was always telling me bad things and started insulting me all the time. He told me that I was not in love with me because I looked fat and disgusting.
We would argue over little things. When I was six months pregnant we had a bad argument, and he got very angry and violent, and said I was useless. Then he lost self-control and started beating me. Finally he pushed me hard against the wall. He left after the incident.
After we separated he never took care of our son. In 2010 our son had an accident, he burned his arm, so we went to the hospital and I called Johnathan to come and help me. After three days, he showed up at the hospital. When he arrived, I asked him to keep an eye on our son while I took a shower. Five minutes after I went to the shower he got angry. He was screaming, telling me that I had to get out of the bathroom because he was in hurry and wanted to leave. He knocked loudly on the door, so when I went out he insulted me and pushed me. Then he hit me in the stomach. I tried to run away but he hit me and twisted my arm. When security came to the room, they took him away and banned him from entering the hospital. After my son got better, I went to the police to report this crime. Then I got a protection order.
I finally decided to report Johnathan’s abuses and visited Mil Mujeres concerned about my immigration status. With their help I got a U Visa for me and my son. Now we are living in New York, I am taking English classes three days a week and my son is taking psychologica therapy and he is learning how to play and be a happy kid. I am extremely grateful now that I got the U visa because I will be able to get a job soon and to enroll my son in school. One of the most important things the U Visa has given us is to live in the United States without the fear of deportation or to be separated from my son. Thanks to Mil Mujeres I am free to live my life free from an abuser and look for a better future for my son
Guatemalan Woman Wins U-visa Case
October 11, 2011
My name is Ana*. I am 37-years old and was born in Guatemala. I have been living in the United States since the late 90’s and have children aged 12, 16, and 17. I am a survivor of domestic violence at the hands of my husband, Jeremiah*, and with the assistance of Mil Mujeres, two of my children and I obtained U-visas in October 2011.
I began living with Jeremiah when I was 18. He was always violent and constantly abused me. He hit me when he got drunk, even when I was pregnant. One day we went to a party and he hit me and put a gun to my head just because I was dancing with a friend. I was too afraid to call the police because he always said if he was deported he would kill my mother back in Guatemala.
A few years ago, in the early morning, I was asleep at home when Jeremiah abruptly came home. He was very drunk and was looking for food. He got very angry because I did not wake up immediately, so he entered the bedroom yelling that I had to go to the kitchen to make some food for him and his brother. Then he started to hit me and pulled my hair. I was crying and screaming because it really hurt, and I wanted someone to hear and help me. He got so crazy that he put a beer bottle in my mouth, and he pushed it so strong that it got broke, so my lips and tongue got cut. When he realized that the police were outside of the building, he tried to hide the beer bottles. When they came in, my mouth was bleeding and I told them everything that had happened. As a result, Jeremiah was arrested and taken to jail. When he was released from jail he was very violent because he blamed me for his arrest.
He eventually moved out, and I began to meet with a mental health therapist at a local community services to help me with my deep depression. Jeremiah has tried to come back home, but I told him that if he returned I would call the police. My youngest daughter is going to school. Now that I have my U-visa, I’m going to apply for my social security card and look forward to being able to work in the United States.
"Special thanks to Inculka S.A.S., web design, Jay Shepley, photography, and Andrea Keating, web video production."