In my last blog I promised that I would share a story about Maria and her life as a Maya women in Chiapas, Mexico. Her story is one that many women experience.
Here is Part One of Maria’s story.
My father was an important man in my village. He worked for the politicians in the community. It was important to him to be a man, to be looked up to in the community. He was like all other village men I knew, full of themselves with little regard for us women. We were there to prepare the tortillas and to have their children. We had no brains, we were just robots for their use.
When I was about 13 years old, I had enough of our village life and my father’s dominance. My mother had moved away years earlier. I decided I would go to San Cristobal and find a job. I wanted to have a life of my own, and to earn my own money. The only jobs I could find were domestic help for rich people. I had no skills. I had only a few years of school, and could not read or write very well.
I worked for a few families, but was treated so poorly, that I keep moving from one household to another. I lasted only six months before I decided to go back home to my community. What a mistake that was. I was only back home for a couple of weeks when one late afternoon, I had the most horrible experience of my life. I can still smell his breath, reeking of alcohol. He grabbed me and shoved me to the ground. I tried with all my might to get away, but I was caught and entangled in his awful body. Yes, I was raped. It was painful. It was frightening. It was humiliating.
I cried and cried. What can I do? I felt so helpless. I ran home and told my father what had happened. I thought he would protect me, and that he would care that I had been hurt. No, He yelled at me to leave the house immediately. He was disgraced!
I said it was not my fault. I will report this man to our community’s leaders. It was so humiliating. The leaders just laughed at me and said I probably wanted it. I later learned that my attacker had paid money to the political leaders and they just let him go. Why can men go free from such a crime?
Maria’s story will continue in the next blog. ( Please note that immigration into the United States by those who are desperate for a better chance in life is a ray of hope for them and their children. As Americans we should be offering a helping hand to those who need it.)
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