Evangelicals in Valencia launch association to support victims of gender violence
'You are not alone' will be at the side of any woman who asks for help, whether she files a complaint or not. “We are Christians and follow the example of Jesus”, say the founders.
VALENCIA · 28 SEPTEMBER 2021 · 09:25 CET
The organisation 'You are not alone' was presented on Saturday 18 September at the First Evangelical Baptist Church of Quart Street, in the Spanish city of Valencia.
The event was attended by the head of the regional Coordination Unit against Gender Violence, Carla Mercé; the head inspector of the Family and Women's Care Unit (UFAM) of the national police, Ana Blas; and the local police officer of the Gender-based violence prevention and care Group (GAMA), Mariam.
“Around 80 people attended the event, which included the video testimony of five women on how they went from being completely lost and not knowing what to do, to feeling accompanied as soon as they found out about the association”, says Abigail Castillo, the founder of this non-profit organisation.
Castillo explains that the entity “was born as a dream in the heads of several women who get together every 8th March and 25th November in the marches against gender violence, and saw how every day more and more women are abused and do not have the strength to leave this toxic relationship in which they live”.
“With the support and encouragement of many people and the backing of our churches, we decided to take the step legalise thie association, a process that has taken almost two years”, she adds.
'You are not alone' seeks to help the woman who arrives referred by third persons who know the association. “In that first moment when she decides to talk, all she needs is a shoulder to cry on, ears to listen to her and even to her silences, and someone to tell her: don't worry, from now on you are not alone”, underlines Castillo.
“Our job is to be at the side of the woman who has had the courage to come out and ask for help (whether she files a complaint or not), and during that conversation (which can last 3 or 4 hours), whenever she decides to, we call 016 (national telephone number for abused women)”.
Furthermore, they “explain to her what is going to happen in the next stepts after filing a complaint, and that it is not as easy and pretty, but that we are going to be by her side. We accompany her to the doctor, the police and everything necessary. It is a process that can last 14 to 16 hours”, always following the 016 guidelines.
In Valencia they “are presenting a pilot project to provide interdisciplinary assistance to victims of gender-based violence and to facilitate the reporting process. We accompany the woman in those first two days when she is in shock, and just opening her eyes is a huge effort”, says Castillo .
“In the beginning the idea was to be with them for the first 24 hours, but obviously we don't leave her alone until we know that she is well cared for by professionals and they take care of her at the women's shelter. Of course, we do a follow-up”, she stresses.
The founder of 'You are not alone' also points out that they have a 24-hour telephone number that the women can call at any time, even if it is just to talk.
“And why do we do this? Because we are all Christians and we follow the example of Jesus on earth. He came to dignify and protect the women. The love for God and following His example is what motivates us to do this selflessly and altruistically”, concludes Castillo.
The presentation was also hosted by the church's pastor, Pau Grau. There were three musical interventions by the local singer Eva Betoret.
Published in: Evangelical Focus - cities - Evangelicals in Valencia launch association to support victims of gender violence