NAME: ANTONIA AVALOS TORRES
BACKGROUND: High Studies
ACTION/SECTOR: Third Sector, Services
ORGANISATION: Mujeres Supervivientes
My Background and Career
My name is Antonia Maliche, I’m Mexican, an historian, a victim of gender violence and a mother of two children. I found myself forced to leave my country to immigrate to Spain and fight for my dignity, escaping from the abuses of my former partner. “I wanted to fulfill the dream of following a man’s love, who protected me, who loved me, and what I received was the worst betrayal one could imagine”.
I have to confess that I am a survivor and that I have overcome all my fears, and from my own experience I help other women who are suffering abuse to go on thanks to the original model of intervention, close, warm, towards self-rebuilding and women empowerment. Our methodology is to be with women during their recovery process towards the development of their own vital project.
In the “Mujeres Supervivientes de violencia de género” company, I’ve developed, alongside other professionals, a new methodology characterized by having developed a different vision against gender violence, going from the category of “victims” to “survivors”, and avoiding the double victimization of women through their personal testimonies. I’m currently president of the company.
I don’t agree with the budget cuts in the fight of gender violence because many women’s lives are put at risk. Because they don’t die, they are murdered.
Now we have created in our company a cooperative for the sustainability of life and projects where the Administration doesn’t get or won’t get, selling our wine “Le vin Violette” from Galeón winery, social entrepreneurship from European funding managed by the Luis Vives Foundation and Acción contra el Hambre.
We are also responsible for the First Plan of Security and Personalized Attention to gender violence victims for all the Andalucía territory, funded by Iceland, Norway and Lichestein.
I lived alone since I was very young and I missed the support, protection, care, warmth and the sense of belonging which my parents offered. In order to study at the university, I always worked hard, in low-paid work, without contracts and social security. In those times, I was a bit shy and insecure.
Here in Spain, because of my status as a non-EU foreigner, my age, my Latin America origin, I was never able to apply to any scholarship or economic supports to study my doctorate.
My personal experience of being a female survivor of gender violence gave me the strength, tenacity, sensitivity and bravery to develop a new vision to help other women who are victims of this kind of violence; a vision which turn into a methodology and a model of intervention. Nowadays, students come from different Spanish and foreign universities to do their internships to know and learn our methodology. The daily work is based on the respect, complicity, proximity and confidence from which start to be with them and build together their own personal path.
I feel very happy to contribute to the construction of a society on equal terms and be witness of how many women who suffered from abuse start to be protagonists of their own lives and live far from the abuse and inequalities
Among my competences:
• I am able to learn and apply new knowledge in my work.
• I organise activities in an easy way.
• I like to establish my own aims and reach them.
• I can easily adapt to change.
• I know the necessary techniques to make better my work and I use them.
• I solve problems and find solutions.
• I have no difficulty in sharing and passing on information.
• I listen and pay attention to someone’s problems.
• I like to collaborate with other people when working.
• My personal development through work is important.
• In case of conflict, I bring peace.
• I like to negotiate and that all the people leave satisfied.
• I like to work as a team.
• I’m able to make a quick decision, although I don’t hesitate to ask for advice and use the other’s experiences and advices.
Among my qualities, I am ambitious, active, progressive, critical, cooperative, a bit shy, persistent, optimistic, innovative, and trustful. I consider myself practical and theoretical. I am a flexible, relaxed, open-minded, self-confident, patient, with a forward-looking approach, organised and democratic person. I can be daring and sensible, creative and methodical.
Hints & Tips
Lucky saying or phrase - "Contribute to the construction of a society on equal terms” “A woman is all women” “When I was afraid of being lost, I started to find myself”
We convert our experience into a methodology of attention, based on the respect, the equality, the closeness, the confidence, empathy, confidentiality between women, excluding the value judgements and avoiding the reproduction of authoritarian relationships. This methodology is the result of having experienced the violence, and has allowed us to feel the experience of each woman as if we were them. By means of creating bonds and ties between women to rebuild their lives and recover their dreams and hopes, we are able of imagine and believe that another life exists after the violence.