• IOM Moldova - Media and Communications Unit

"Society tells us that we can live as victims of abuse and violence. Women must have the courage to fight back. I don't fall anymore into the trap"
(Ana asked to protect her identity)

Tiraspol - Ana was an independent woman and satisfied with her life. She studied and worked at the same time, she looked to her future with optimism. 

“When I was young, I met a man. We fell in love and started living together." 

Ana's story with her partner, Igor, started like many other love stories. An initial passion, a relationship of trust, a partner with whom to share a happy life. And the birth of their first daughter.

To unbalance the serenity of the family, Ana's father-in-law. A violent man, who abused verbally and physically his wife and Igor since he was a child. “I will never be like my father”, Igor kept repeating to assure Ana, every time his father raged against him with outbursts of anger. However, that conviction wavered after the most severe episode.

During a quarrel, the father-in-law took a shovel and started hitting Igor hard, inflicting serious injuries on his son in front of the little daughter. Ana was traumatized. In the following days she began to suffer psychologically from the atmosphere of fear and danger at home, and she felt that something in her partner's behavior was changing.

This was confirmed when she became pregnant for the second time. He reacted badly, but Ana was prepared for this, and she immediately told him that she would not have an abortion for any reason. And so, it was. Their second daughter was born, and Igor, instead of being happy, started to get irascible.

Photo IOM / Riccardo Severi

"His friends advised him that he should be tougher on me, and he probably took that advice too seriously."

Ana's fear that her partner would start behaving like her father unfortunately came true. Igor became verbally abusive, yelling at Ana and their little girls. Then, he started hitting her.

Ana remembers well the first time it happened.

The quarrel arose during dinner. Igor was sober, and he had begun to complain that the food served on the table was cold. An argument ensued. Then, suddenly, he jumped up, violently grabbed Ana by her hair, pushed her against a corner of the room and started banging her head against the wall. The girls were watching the scene terrified in tears.

After the violence, Igor ordered her to leave home immediately. Ana refused to abandon their little girls at home alone with him. To avoid engagement with the police she decided not to go to the hospital to receive medical treatment.  At that moment she understood that she needed psychological help, as well as the urgency of protecting her two daughters and taking them away from that home.

In those days of discouragement, Ana, while zapping, watched the local television broadcasting a program with some information on Resonance, an NGO running a center in Tiraspol to protect women's rights, supported by IOM and the UK.

“Instinctively, my eyes were filled with tears, but I was not sure it was the right number. They reassured me on the phone and told me ‘Come here, and we will help you'".

The same morning Ana, gripped with fear, took her two little girls to escape the violent household. She could not go to her mother's house because Igor had threatened to come. So, without further hesitation and with the only thought of protecting her daughters, she headed for Tiraspol where the Resonance center is located. When Ana arrived at the centre, she felt lost. Everything was unknown, everything was new. However, "I felt I could trust the people who worked there."

“I wish there was more information, women need to know that real help exists. Many women need help but rarely dare to ask for it, because society tells us that we can live as victims of abuse and violence. Women must have the courage to fight back.”

Ana and her 2 little girls lived 3 months in the center where she received psychological assistance on a daily basis. Then, when she felt more confident, they moved to an apartment close by the center, since she continued to benefit from the assistance of Resonance for years.
When the IOM Communications Team Moldova met her in the Resonance center in March 2023, she was pleased to find the center with some infrastructural improvements, like a playground where children can play, “a truly useful service for mothers who come here to be assisted”.
Indeed, Ana no longer needs assistance from the Centre.

“You have done enough for me. Now, my life depends on me”.

Today, Ana is once again a free, emancipated, and happy woman. Her girls are 4 and 6 years old.

She occasionally meets Igor in the same city they used to live in, to let him spend time with their daughters. He is still manipulative, nervous like he used to be, he tries to put psychological pressure on Ana, but he makes a useless effort because Ana is stronger: "I don't fall anymore in the trap".



From IOM Moldova Series: Victims of violence and abuse / #bestronger – forging a path toward a brighter future.

To contacts the Resonance Centre:
+37353344415, Facebook , Instagram,  

This IOM Project is funded by the United Kingdom.


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