My name is Alena and I’m from Russia. I joined Willpowered Woman as Impact Development Director last month. I have more than 5 years of experience in nonprofit organizations and have a diploma in social psychology and economics.
Unfortunately, intimate partner abuse is paid very little attention in my Country. There aren’t any crisis centers or women’s shelter to help survivors. Recently, a law was passed by our Government that decriminalizes intimate partner violence. If a woman involves the Police for the first time, a man will not suffer any punishment. Growing up in Russia, women are brought up under different stereotypes: women should cook, clean the house and care for children, but men need to rest after work; the message is frequently communicated that if a woman isn’t married and doesn’t have children, she will be unhappy and have a sad life. There are a lot of women in Russia who think it’s normal if their husband hurts or humiliates them.
I was in an abusive relationship. I met a guy who was jealous, humiliated me, didn’t let me meet with friends and constantly left me with a sense of guilt for wanting other people in my life. I found strength in myself and ended this relationship. For a long time after I could not have a relationship with anyone.
I’ve been in many situations where women’s rights were infringed upon because we are women. For example:
Every time in my life when I saw these situations, I asked myself: “Why does it happen so often? What should I do? How can I prevent it?” I found the answers through Willpowered Woman. We have to make a change and stand up to intimate partner abuse. We have to educate at high schools, universities and businesses to prevent intimate partner abuse. We have to develop women’s empowerment. I know we will! When I return to Russia I will be able to help many women in my Country and that really excites me. I look forward to working with the Willpowered Woman community!