Abused woman is beaten by her partner and publishes photos of her face
Paola Mascambruni from Argentina is 38 years old. She is also the mother of four children and a survivor of a horrible crime being committed all over the world: domestic violence. A few days ago, photos of her badly beaten face went viral on the internet. This is her story...
In 2009, Paola met Rodrigo Eduardo Picolini, a man who worked with her at Aerolíneas Argentinas. They soon fell in love and had a happy relationship. A short time later, Paola became pregnant with their first son. It was during this pregnancy that Rodrigo showed a very dark side of his personality.
In the second month of pregnancy, the couple had an argument. Rodrigo lost his temper and threw a glass of beer at Paola. Not long after that, Rodrigo got angry with Paola and bit her cheek in the middle of a shopping mall. Ashamed of what he had done, he apologized and promised to never do it again. Paola decided to trust him and stay together for the sake of their child. But six months later, when Rodrigo again got violent and threw her onto the bed and punched her in the face, Paola knew she had to end the relationship.
Paola didn't see Rodrigo again until the day of their son's birth. Even though they weren't together as a couple, he still wanted to be there to welcome their child into the world. At first Paola was glad that he was there, but during the delivery something upset Rodrigo and he began hitting things. Hospital staff quickly removed him from the premises.
Paola got on with her life and tried to forget the bad experiences. She preferred to be alone than with a violent man and refused to let Rodrigo near her. She eventually began a new relationship with a man who acted like a father to her son Valentino, but unfortunately it didn't last. Paola felt guilty about raising her child without a dad and began to feel that it was unfair for Valentino not to have the chance to meet his real father. And so, despite what Rodrigo had done to her, she called him yet again.
Rodrigo started visiting his son. They would go out for walks and he would buy things for Valentino. Everything seemed to be going well — in May 2016 Paola and Rodrigo even got together for dinner. That evening they talked about getting back together and by the time dinner was over they had decided give it another try.
But the following weekend, Valentino came back from his father's place with tears in his eyes. Rodrigo had punched him in the face and stomach and was now on a rampage. "I called for explanations and that situation led to more violence. He came to destroy my house. With the car he hit the gate, then he threatened to kill me with a gun," recalls Paola.
This was the first time that Paola called the police. She ended the relationship and didn't see him again until December when she heard that he had been in a motorcycle accident. Rodrigo claimed that the accident helped him to see things differently, and that he now knew that his violent behavior was inexcusable. He had been on the verge of death and now he wanted to start over and lead a good life. Paola could see how sincere he was. She believed him and decided to give him another chance.
On March 16, 2017, Rodrigo came home in a very strange mood. He was dressed up and obviously trying to impress Paola. But when she didn't comment on his appearance, he aggressively asked her why. When Paola didn't answer quickly enough, Rodrigo flew into a rage.
"He locked the doors. He undressed me. He grabbed me by the shoulders and broke a window with my back. He hit me with kicks and punches all over my body, tried to strangle me. The softest thing he said to me was 'whore.' I asked him to calm down. I would say, 'Rodrigo, please, you're going to kill me.' And he would say yes, of course, that he was going to kill me." The beating lasted for two hours.
Paola was trying to escape, crawling on the floor, shouting. No one heard her or came to her aid. At one point she managed to put the key in the lock of the door to open it, but he took her from behind, threw her to the floor and slapped her in the face. Finally, Paola managed to get out of the house, jump over the garden fence and scream for help in the street. Everyone was afraid to defend her, but someone called the police.
Paola was brought to the hospital. The attack had left her with a fractured skull, nasal trauma, loose teeth and bruises over her entire body. She was lucky to be alive. Rodrigo was charged with domestic violence and sent to prison. He had promised to change, to be better, and he had lied every time. Paola wanted to believe him, especially for the sake of their son, but that had proved to be an almost fatal mistake. It looked more like Rodrigo was a psychopath and incapable of feeling real love.
It is an all too common scenario: the men cry, give gifts, and make empty promises to lure their victims in. In most cases these men are incapable of change and instead they manipulate the people around them to make them believe that they are sorry for their crimes. Paola wants to warn others who are in similar situations. Her message: don't believe the lies and get out while you still can.
Unfortunately there are still many people in this world like Rodrigo. It is a reality that thousands of women live in complete silence, hiding the violence under long sleeve shirts and makeup. Forgiveness is important in many aspects of life, but it's also important to know that some men use this as a trap to keep women trapped in the cycle of abuse.
Stories like Paola's break our hearts, but they also give people who need it tremendous strength to fight against domestic violence. If you need help, remember to contact the police or someone close to you. It could be the difference between life and death.
- Domestic Violence Hotline (USA): http://www.thehotline.org/
- Domestic Violence Helpline (UK): http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/