Hello  my name is Micaela Mendez, I heard of SEPA Mujer back in 2012 when I would go to ESL classes. I was invited and I went. I liked it so much that I kept going back to gain more information about women’s rights. There are so many things that I realized I did not know. This made me think with clarity and certainty that it is never too late to learn and get informed about the laws of human beings and to not be scared of nothing and noone. This is an organization full of wisdom and knowledge. All I can say is thank you so much.

My name is Paola Zuniga, I am 30 years old and have a family of 5. I have many goals set for myself and one of them has always been to help others who are in need of help. I was invited by my husband’s cousin to join SEPA Mujer, she invited me to assist the meetings in St. Rosalie’s Church in 2011. Back then I had the erroneous idea that SEPA Mujer was an organization that only helped women who has gone through abuse; but to my surprise when I went back to meetings, I realized that it was not true; I realized that their mission was to help the Latina woman of Long Island in all aspects of life. Throughout the years, SEPA Mujer helped empower us with so much knowledge of our rights, much of that many of us did not even know we had or perhaps did not realize it was possible. This organization wants to empower Latina Women in order to create more awareness and defend their rights just as in our homes, in the workplace or in society.

My name is Nelly Amaya. I am a mother, wife and community activist. My spirit has the essence of a fighter and it is telling me to keep fighting even though it is very tough sometimes. But what is triumph without the struggle? This makes me think of justice and equality as fundamental pillars in life. I am also in the fight against violence, and it’s for this reason that I have the responsibility to continue to create positive change in our community. I joined SEPA Mujer in 2013 at the end of  a long legal battle that included me being wrongfully arrested along with others back in 2007 by ICE. Now in these harsh times of anti-immigrant climate that certain politics are creating, we are getting prepared with even more desire. SEPA Mujer gave me the opportunity to share my story to empower us and prepare ourselves. Wanting to change the world was a process in which mentors played a huge role with their knowledge and stories of individual growth but more importantly the strong support of my family and of course, God.

Hello my name is Noemi Sanchez, I am a member of SEPA Mujer and I am a survivor of domestic violence. We know there are many stories out there, but continue to be silenced because of fear. Fear made me stay with the man that always psychologically abused me and even tried to kill me. Now only the scars in my life remain. Thanks to God and organizations like SEPA Mujer and iTry that are there to help us and support us. I like to share my testimony so that others who are in the same situation as I was and to break the silence. God made us all different but he gave us the same love in our lives. Violence is not a sign of peace. Together we are responsible and we will not accept violence as part of our lives. No more silence, no more fear!

My name is Marcia Estrada and I am a community leader and a volunteer with SEPA Mujer. I met the organization in 2011. When there was a workshop on immigration, I learned about VAWA (Violence Against Women’s Act) and about many other laws that I did not even know existed. This left me very impressed and I wished to go back and learn more. I was also very impressed with the mission of the organization to help women victims of domestic violence, educate and help those same women to overcome obstacles through empowerment workshops. For the first time I felt supported as a Latina women and as an immigrant and even more so with a network of women of which are now my friends. I now know how to defend myself, protect my children and not be afraid!

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