No right, No choice
The patriarchal system that manifests openly in some Latin American homes is a dark mark on our own history; this one in particular is ephemeral, no one hears it or sees it. It is forgotten as soon as it is pronounced and disappears to benefit only the one who oppresses.
For centuries we have been fed on this violence, now naturalized, which has permeated our homes like ink on paper. Violence that is so deep within us that it has poisoned entire families, leaving the most fearful and gruesome endings.
My own home was the scene of these forms of violence, and since then I assumed it was normal, since wherever I looked that was the norm. Arriving in Richmond, Virginia in 2017, I had to face this reality that spreads like a plague in the only place that today an undocumented immigrant in the United States can feel safe, their home.
The immigration policies of the United States have created the perfect climate for these stories to remain hidden, since victims are afraid to speak up and report their perpetrators. The unexpected change in US immigration law that removes protections for women who have suffered domestic violence in their country has helped spread the violence. Abusers now use this change in the law to further control their victims. Lying to them that if they speak, no one will listen to them.
Some might say that this argument is close to reality, and for this reason some people have decided to stay in the shadows allowing the abuser to maintain their impunity. But little by little more people are taking action on their own. These women that I began to document since 2017, have been some of those who have not only taken action against their oppressors but who also want to be an example to other victims that they are not alone and that within the community there are tools to support them.
This photographic essay aims to highlight a dark part of the intimacy of the Latin American home in the United States; also reflecting how these power dynamics in our homes are worsening. Power dynamics that have been boosted by changes in immigration laws giving perpetrators more control and how this has impacted the mental health of undocumented migrants who suffer from this abuse.