The families of the two young women, Sandra and Cristina, who were seriously injured after being sprayed with acid while sitting in a car in Cártama, built a wall around them to protect their privacy and allow them to focus on their recovery. And, since the horrific attack in January 2021, neither of the victims have made a single public statement.
But now Sandra, the ex-partner of the main suspect, El Melillero, has decided to break her silence and has chosen to do so on the occasion of 25N, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
In an audio message sent to SUR, the 27-year-old, who suffered acid burns to half of her body in an attack allegedly committed or instigated by her ex-boyfriend, José Arcadio DN.said, "I am in favour of a permanent reviewable prison for this type of crime."
The message begins, "Hello everyone, I am Sandra, a victim of gender violence, and I want to share with you some reflections on the occasion of 25N."
"First of all, I am addressing the politicians. Please stop looking away and start thinking more about us women," continues the young woman who asks the authorities to adapt the laws to make sure that these individuals "never reintegrate into society."
Sandra says she is in favour of extending the revisable permanent prison to gender violence, "since the aggressors violate the dignity and rights of women - just because they are women."
She calls for greater investment in education for equality, and adds: "I want to feel that my country values me, protects me and takes care of me against this scourge."
"Each one of us is unique, special and irreplaceable," continues the young woman. “We have shown that together we are stronger. Let us join forces, today and every day, and be a great army in the fight for our rights. I want you free and alive.
The ex-partner of El Melillero sent a "special" message for all those who are going through a situation of violence: "I know it is very difficult, that panic clouds the mind and does not allow us to see clearly. I want you to cling to your inner child and not allow anyone to violate your values. Ask for help, there are always people who will reach out to you.”
The young woman also wanted to address the men involved in the fight against gender violence. "You are essential to achieve its eradication and real equality," she says.
Finally, she sends "infinite thanks" to those who have expressed support and solidarity, and who have respected her wishes for privacy. “Thanks to all of you I feel strong, grateful and blessed. A kiss, a big hug and I love you with all my heart,” Sandra concludes.