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Why do I fight against domestic violence?

I founded Tulipane Design in 2020 which has a mission to not only to make my creations available to other people but also to contribute to a social impact, in particular to highlight the violence made against women and to help the fight against this violence.

This is why 1 euro/jewel sold is offered to the Centre of Prevention of domestic violence in Belgium.

But why do I support this cause in particular? To understand this, we have to travel 32 years back to Eastern Hungary.

My mother – 19 at the time – married a man who seemed kind, honest and respectable in the village.

Except that a week after their wedding, she receives the first slap. As time goes by, he becomes more and more brutal with my mother. However, she remains six years in this marriage and has 2 children with him…

As a child, we ask questions, like: Why does someone stay in a toxic marriage like this? Why wasn’t she complaining? Why can someone beat another person, especially his wife?

And then there is also the ignorance of family and friends towards the victim. How can loved ones say nothing when someone is beaten? Why don’t they bother to help him/her?

I have never been able to find clear answers to all of these questions and maybe it’s not even worth looking for them desperately. What it would take is just trying to imagine the environment the victim lived in:

Hungary at that time – in 1988 – was characterized by a strong patriarchy, where men were the heads of the family. They dictate what will happen and the woman has to obey. Men take pride in beating their wives and saying proudly, « Who doesn’t beat his wife doesn’t love her at all. » It is clearly a culture of violence that is not present only in Hungary but in Eastern Europe in general.

Asking for help is not easy, especially in a rural area which is characterized by the lack of infrastructure and poverty (next to Romania where we lived). At that time, domestic violence was not recognized as a crime (which is still the case in 2021) and the National organisation for prevention of domestic violence was only created in 1994, when my mum already escaped from my father.

A childhood trauma at the source of a social project.

I remember there was a great fear in me towards my father, but luckily I didn’t keep many images of his brutality in my memory. Yet even though I was 3 years old when we started our new life, the trauma left its mark on me afterwards. I was very shy as a child and I was afraid of men in particular.

In the midst of the Communist regime in Hungary at that time, victims of domestic violence were not taken care of: no psychological therapy or support.

So we had to face it all on our own and that’s where jewellery weaving, drawing and crochet became a kind of meditation activity for me. I spent hours working on my creations but so much the better: pearls take time to be woven. I quickly realized that art is crucial to finding my inner balance.

It also taught me a kind of awareness about my childhood trauma, but it wasn’t until I was 32 that I finally started therapy.

Through exercises with my therapist, I deal with my post-traumatic stress disorder. I gain greater self-confidence and better stress management. It was since the beginning of this therapy that I decided to take my jewellery hobby further and start a social business. The donation to the Center of Brussels is a first step and I also lead creative workshops for women to pass on weaving as a tool for relaxation and healing. I also often talk about domestic violence on social media. I am convinced that talking about the problem of domestic violence will have an awareness-raising effect and will contribute to a long-term impact.



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