The Reality of Being a Woman In Mexico
By: Vania Vela
At this point, getting home alive is a miracle.
Mexico is a country where leaving your home means you may never return. A country where your testimony is silenced and ignored. One where victims never receive justice.
The government does nothing. Victims are blamed, their crimes marked as “accidents.” How can I live peacefully knowing that if I am killed, it will be marked as suicide on the death certificate?
I can’t go out on the streets without the fear of being kidnapped and raped. It is terrifying to be home alone at the thought of someone coming in and killing me in my own room. At this point I am not living, I am merely surviving.
It hurts to live in Mexico. It’s waking up and seeing your social media filled with pictures of missing or murdered women. It’s knowing that today it was a stranger, but the next day it could be your loved one or even yourself.
Living in Mexico is texting “I’m home” to your family and friends. It’s being followed through the streets, cars driving around again and again where you walk, praying that it’s just a coincidence.
Living in Mexico is blaming the clothes, the time and the place, denying justice to the victims. It’s us who are to blame and not the killer. It’s to feel a hand inside your dress and say nothing, because who would believe you?
Living in Mexico is feeling watched all the time. It’s to turn around at the slightest sound of footsteps for fear that they are coming after you. It’s to take a picture of what you are wearing in case you need to be identified. It’s sharing your location every time you go out, even if it’s just around the corner.
Living in Mexico is being constantly afraid of being next and knowing you won’t be the last.