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Why do I support the fight against domestic violence?

I set up Tulipane Design in 2020, and its mission is not only to share its creations with others, but also to contribute to a social impact, in particular to highlight violence against women and help the fight against it.

That's why 1 euro per piece of jewellery sold is donated to the Centre for the Prevention of Domestic Violence in Belgium.

But why domestic violence?

To understand this, you have to travel 32 years back in time to rural Hungary. My mother - who was 19 at the time - married a man who seemed kind, honest and respectable in the village.

Except that a week after their wedding, she received her first slap.

As the years went by, he became increasingly brutal with my mother. Yet she stayed in the marriage for six years and had 2 children with him...

As a child, you ask questions like: Why does someone stay in a toxic marriage like that?

Why didn't she complain?

Why would someone beat another person, especially his wife?

And then there's the ignorance of family and friends towards the victim. How can family and friends say nothing when someone is beaten?

Why don't they help?

I've never been able to find clear answers to all these questions and maybe it's not even worth looking for them desperately.

What you should do is just try to imagine the environment of the past:

Hungary at that time - 1988 - was characterised by a strong patriarchy, where men were the heads of the family. They dictate everything that happens and the women obey.

The men are proud to beat their wives if they don't obey, saying: He who does not beat his wife does not love her at all'. This is clearly a culture of violence that is not only present in Hungary but in Eastern Europe in general.

Asking for help isn't easy, especially in a rural area characterised by a lack of infrastructure and poverty (next to Romania, where we lived).

Domestic violence is not recognised as a crime (which is still the case in 2021) and the national organisation for the prevention of domestic violence was only set up in 1994, when my mother had already escaped from my father.

A childhood trauma at the root of a social project

I remember feeling a great deal of fear towards my father, but fortunately I haven't kept many images of his brutality in my memory. However, 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 particularly afraid of men.

At that time, under the Communist regime in Hungary, victims of domestic violence were not treated: there was no psychological therapy or support.

So we had to deal with it all ourselves and that's when jewellery weaving, drawing and crocheting became a kind of meditation activity for me. I spent hours working on my creations, but all the better: beads take time to weave. I soon realised 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'm dealing with my post-traumatic stress. I'm gaining greater self-confidence and better stress management.

It was from the start of this therapy that I decided to go further with my jewellery hobby and create a social enterprise.

The donation to the Brussels Centre is a first step, and I also run creative workshops to pass on weaving as a tool for relaxation and healing.

I also often talk about domestic violence on social networks. I'm convinced that talking about domestic violence will raise awareness and have a long-term impact.

What is your experience? Do you ask the same questions?

Participate in the discussion on social media.



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