Susana, mistreated by her partner at age 20: “I am worried that after me there will be more victims”

“I’ve always been very fond of it,” says Susana Gómez with a half smile when she explains that at just 18 years old she went to live in a town in the region of La Selva, in Girona, with her first boyfriend. His face changes radically when he speaks of the control, the insults, the contempt and the humiliations to which he was subjected. And breaks down crying when he remembers how he withstood the blows and beatings. She managed to get out of that relationship and even denounce him, but admits the enormous difficulty in noticing abuse at such a young age. “I want to break the silence so that adolescents and young girls who are in this situation realize that there is a way out, that love is not that“, she assures. Like her, according to the macro-survey of the Ministry of Equality, more than 43% of women between 16 and 24 years old who have had a partner have suffered psychological violence and control, twice as much as older women.

Susana’s story goes back seven years. In 2014 he met the man who would later become his attacker. “It all started on Facebook“He admits. A friend of his posted a photo of a boy who he liked. For several months his only contact was through social networks.” Then he came to my house, we would meet and officially start the relationship, “he explains. Everything was going on. Good. So well, that when she finished high school, this girl from Santa Coloma de Gramenet (Barcelonès) decided to move to the municipality of La Selva where her boyfriend lived. “Her parents had a real estate agency and they offered us a flat at zero cost”, Explain.

The decision was little understood by parents and high school friends. “But they couldn’t say anything, I was 18 years old and it was what I wanted,” he says. During the first two years of their relationship, he talks about a beautiful, placid life. She worked in a quality control of a factory and was studying a degree at the University of Barcelona that she ended up leaving. He, a year older than her, worked in her parents’ family business. “What happens is that he barely had any friends and I got a small group of my co-workers who also lived in the town, I think I couldn’t bear it, “she says.

Blackmail and control

After those first two years, things were changing. “Now I can tell because I realize that this was not normal, that this was abuse. But when it all starts you can’t realize. I did not want to see it, I had invested so much, I had left it all for him and it had to be worth it“, she assures. Her boyfriend did not like that on weekends he went down to Santa Coloma to see his parents and his younger sister.” Little by little I was losing contact with my friends from school and my family, he did not tell me that I didn’t go to see them, but he blackmailed me that then we couldn’t make plans as a couple on weekends, “he says.

“I think he was quite insecure and jealous of anything,” he explains. First was control with clothes. “There are new clothes that were in the closet and that I could never release because he didn’t like them.” Later, she got in the way of encounters with her friends. Nervous if he went out with them, if he went to party, I imposed a deadline to return home. “As if he were my father,” he insists.

“There were new clothes that were in the closet and that I could never wear because he didn’t like them”


Travel abuse

But he also exercised psychological abuse on the trips they made as a couple. “We went to Madrid for a week and only arrived He left me alone on the train because he thought I was looking at a boy instead of him “, he recalls through tears. Episodes like these were repeated in various cities in Europe. Berlin, Lisbon, are black and dark places in his memories. His sister, six years younger, was the one who gave the first voice “We had to go one weekend to the African reserve of Sigean (France) and he was furious at home, screaming and banging, because my sister accidentally broke the toilet chain. He couldn’t bear it being there. ”

Susana Gómez, survivor of sexist violence, in Santa Coloma de Gramenet, last Tuesday. ZOWY VOETEN

The first beating

The sister and the friends she made in the municipality of Girona were tying up the dots. “But I didn’t want to and couldn’t see it,” he insists over and over again. She remembers a dinner at the house of some of her boyfriend’s friends in Blanes. “He told me that he was provoking and on the way home he left me lying in the middle of the road. In winter and in the middle of the night“He remembers.” Then he came back and we pretended nothing. “She was 21 years old. Another night, he made up that she had kissed a friend of his. It happened in September 2017.” It was the first time he hit me. First he hit the walls and then he pushed me and put his hand on me with slaps and punches. He even dialed 061 laughing at me … “. Then he apologized and she agreed.” I had always thought that women who do not report are stupid … And now I understand, is that it is very difficult to accept that the person you love is bad for you“.

The forgiveness lasted two weeks. Then the control and the insults returned. Until Susana suffered for her own life. It was the night of August 28, 2018. “I was so furious that I was partying with my friends that He showed up at the disco to spy on me. At home he already started insulting me and yelling at me. First he hit the rabbit that was our pet. I asked him to stop. He pushed me against a glass door that broke and then grabbed my neck to try to strangle me. I remember the moment of cleaning the blood from the windows and he was still, without saying anything. “That night they slept in the same house.” The next day I told my friends in town and they took me by car to the Mossos police station. . I don’t know where I got the strength to report, I didn’t want to … but I finally did and I told it all from the beginning, “he assumes.

Fake profiles on Instagram

Within hours of filing the complaint, he was arrested. “With my parents and my uncles I went to pick up my things from the flat.” To the they imposed a fine, and a restraining order. “At first I was afraid that he would show up in Santa Coloma, but he didn’t. He created fake Instagram profiles and wrote to see me. It was pretty tough “, he assures. “It was difficult for me to see my friends from high school and to trust men. But I think I am managing to remake all this.” Now, Susana already has a driver’s license, and is studying to be a lawyer

Do you think you have wasted your youth? “I believe that I have learned a lot what love is and what is not. And I know it will never happen to me again. I am proud to have come out of all this. “She knows that now he has a partner again.” I don’t think I have to go and tell her that her boyfriend is an abuser. But it worries me to think that it has not changed and after me there may be more victims“.


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