Domestic violence is one of the uglier manifestations of poverty. It affects the whole family. Even long after the abuse has stopped, the impact continues to reverberate in a child’s life for many years.
Micaela’s second husband was a violent man. They made a humble living in Villa Hortensia II. For years, she suffered verbal and physical abuse but didn’t know how to get away. As Fernando, the oldest of her four children, grew older, he also experienced the mistreatment of his stepfather. At that point, Micaela knew she had to find a way out. She took her children and fled the house.
Community leadership in urged her to file a complaint against her husband, but she was too afraid. Being out of the house, she thought the pain was behind them.
While Micaela is an undeniably strong and resilient woman, making a living on her own in a community fighting against poverty was tremendously difficult. Fernando, also, began to struggle. The emotional and psychological trauma of the violence he’d suffered began to show. He developed behavioural problems and wanted to drop out of school.
He began making plans to move to a larger city to look for work; he wanted to get far away from his stepfather and earn money to help his mother.
Micaela was beside herself. She couldn’t bear the thought of losing her son but didn’t know how to stop him. She turned to FH for help.
FH staff took Micaela’s concerns seriously and moved swiftly to intervene. A staff member, Maria, began counseling Fernando, slowly helping him to work through his fear and pain. She guided him, spiritually and emotionally, as he struggled to find peace. She shared how God still loved him, valued his life, and believed he was special. Little by little, Fernando is overcoming the trauma.
Micaela's husband eventually left the community to work on a distant farm. Micaela moved herself and her children back home, providing a more stable and peaceful environment.
"I thank God, because despite all the violence, God has been taking care of us,” Micaela shares. “Above all my, son Fernando is being rescued from the consequences of the problems we have experienced.” This mamma fought hard to keep her son at her side – and she won.
Today, Fernando has many dreams. He goes to school, studies hard, and gets good grades. “When I grow up, I want to graduate and help my mother take care of my little brothers and sisters. I don’t want violence in homes. I don’t want children to suffer like I did.”
Micaela continues to work hard to see her children grow up healthy and safe. Through FH, she now has a family garden that helps her feed her children.
Undoubtedly, Fernando’s life, like other children who suffer domestic violence, has been strongly impacted by trauma. But in spite of everything, God has control of their lives. And FH is there, committed to continue rescuing and supporting families fighting against all forms of poverty – even the ugly ones.
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