PNN Revolutionary Blog Series #3 / Serie de Blogs Revolutionarios


PNNscholar1 - Posted on 13 August 2010

People's Skool Summer 2010
By Tracy Faulkner

Domestic violence/immigrant issues
Immigrant right/women rights
    

    I am the resident manager of a large building in the Tenderloin (48 Apts)
    
    I first met Soal Cervantez and his wife Maria Tamayo on a sunny day in September 2003, soon after I started the job. Even though we couldn’t really communicate very well because of a language barrier, they seemed like a nice, happy young couple. Their apt filled with the sounds of their three small children, their wall covered with images of family and of Mary looking up at her son on the cross. Six years later, I found Maria dead in their apt, muderded by her husband.
    A year has gone by since I walked into that apt and I’m still left with no answers.  I really don’t care why he did it, I don’t care if she was having an affair; like somehow this makes what he did her fault. No, what I care about is how come I didn’t know he had been arrested, convicted and deported almost year before her death for domestic violence.  When I didn’t see him about, I didn’t think anything of it, and since I was still getting a rent check each month with his signature on it, I just assumed he was working nights or something. The days before her death, I saw him several times around the building and even smiled and said hi.
    I am no stranger to domestic violence, I watched as my mom was tossed down a staircase when I was 6 years old that landed her in the hospital. As an adult, I watched as my pregnant friend was punched in the stomach. I sheltered her for six month because there was no room in the shelters; fear of him coming for her haunting both of us. No, I am no stranger to domestic violence, and through my friend, I learned a lot about the rights of a domestic survivor.
     So, what went wrong for my tenant? I am left with no answers, but many questions:
Was there a restraining order that I was never informed of? And if so, why not?
Was Maria Tamayo ever informed of her rights as a tenant? As a domestic abuse survivor? If so, was she informed in her native language? If not, why not? Something, somewhere went completely wrong and three little girls lost their mother because of it.
    The current climate surrounding immigrants has left many alone and alienated. Not knowing who to trust, or what to believe. I believe this has left many vulnerable, especially women.  
 

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