Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!
Traditional efforts in Spain generally focus on increasing the amount of resources dedicated to support battered women, portraying them as useless victims in need of listless resources to get back on their feet. Results from these efforts are discouraging, as less then 20% of women in abusive situations actually access these resources. In contrast to this approach, Ana Bella is actually mobilizing the experience of a large pool of former battered women who are in the process or have already successfully rebuilt their lives. By showing the positive messages from recovered women, breaking away from the traditional victimizing mindset, Ana Bella helps battered women reach the key point of legally reporting abuse and accessing the resources that are already in place. This principle, simple yet completely new in Spain, serves as the foundation of the holisticof the approach to recovery that Ana Bella has created to recovery through the leverage leveraging of women’s strengths and competences instead of merely providing for their immediate needs. Due to the success of her efforts, she is also spreading this principle to other institutions, organizations and stakeholders in Spain to work re-configure the whole traditional approach to dealing with domestic violence in Spain.
Ana Bella’s approach rests firmly on peer-to-peer networks that bring together women who have successfully overcome abuse with those who are undergoing abuse and want to break free. These networks specially target, though not exclusively, the 80 percent of battered women who do not legally report their abusing partner. As struggling women who haven’t yet taken steps to break away from abuse spend time with women that are close references and hear positive messages, they are encouraged and supported to work towards recovery. Ana Bella has proven that these networks are more efficient than the traditional support structures that merely point to the technical resources available – legal advice, addresses for shelters, job placement, etc. In fact, it is precisely this peer-to-peer support that provides the key stepping stone for battered women to acknowledge their situation, reach out for help and, eventually, initiate the separation process from their abusing partner.
Ana Bella is also working with the government to change the prevalent current approach of battered women as victims which is at the core of many of today’s inefficiencies in the system. By focusing on the positive abilities women have developed through their tragic experience – strength, determination, ability to work under extreme pressure, etc. – Ana Bella is improving current public resources for abused women. From how staff interact with women when they first approach social services to the type of financial support offered, including housing and work placement, Ana Bella is helping these entities become more efficient by learning from women who have survived.
In order to transform the way society views women who have suffered abusive violence, Ana Bella is also working with media to change how domestic violence is portrayed. Instead of showcasing negative images of desperate, weak, violated and marginalized women, Ana Bella is providing positive examples of women who have moved away from abuse and are living a new life. She is proving that messages conveying hope and a plausible way out are more effective in encouraging women to initiate a separation process and report their abuser. Also, this approach is helping to change how corporations perceive and support abused women employees. By eliminating stigmatization at work and contributing to their speedier reintegration into the job market, women are able to achieve the necessary financial autonomy to safely rebuild their own lives.
María conoció a Ana a través de Fundación Directa y se puso en contacto con ella. Parece interesante en un año.