Since this nightmare began nine months ago, my integrity, intelligence and independence have been attacked over and over again by individuals claiming to defend me. In every instance, I’ve been cast as an immigrant woman with limited English proficiency who is incapable of asserting her rights, understanding domestic violence, or speaking with her own voice. I’ve been characterized as ignorant, submissive, vulnerable -- but also hysterical, vindictive and manipulative. I’m either a “hot-blooded Latina” or a fool, duped by my husband.
The mayor and his allies -- each with their political or financial interest at stake -– have lined up to silence me or distort what really happened. They claim my voice doesn’t matter, that I can’t be trusted, but, have they ever, ever, bothered to talk to me directly? No.
They prefer an inflammatory vague 50-second video clip to the truth. In the midst of an argument on December 31, 2011, my husband grabbed my arm for a second and bruised me -- it was not intentional. I have never recanted this fact. He was wrong, and he apologized. That was the extent of it. I know this because I was there. It was my experience. It happened to me. And it never happened before.