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 created on: Friday, October 25th, 2013



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Slađana, from Croatia, 30 years old, mother of three young children. Slađana was left without a father when she was 6 years old. Her mother partnered with another man who maltreated Slađana, after which she and her sister ended up in foster families. By the time she was was a young adult she had moved between several foster families. In one family she fell in love with their son, married him and soon became pregnant. Her “romance” didn’t last long, because her husband started to misstreat, insult and beat her. He beat her when she was pregnant. One time simply because she passed under the ladder while he was painting the room so he climbed down and slapped her. After some time her husband found a mistress who also became pregnant. He brought his mistress to their house to live with them. So, in the first floor Slađana lived with her children and on the ground floor her husband lived with his mistress. Of course, this was not enough for him, so he began to exert economic control by taking almost all of her paychecks and leaving her with barely enough money to survive. He also confiscated her identity card and documents so that she could not run away. He continued to insult her and beat her, and still insisted she have sex with him. He took their children to stay with him and his mistress in their new apartment. Even his mistress molested and humiliated Slađana and her children. When his mistress gave birth, he kicked Slađana out of the house because he needed more space for his new family. After that she had no other way out, because he would have taken their children and she would have ended up on the street. So she summoned all her courage, and while the husband was at work she picked up the children and told his new wife that they are going for a walk. They ran away to a Safe House. She says that it was very hard at the beginning, especially for the children. But now she feels an enormous relief. Even now sometimes, when the children meet with their father he pressures them to come back to him, promising that this time he will be better than before. Slađana has started a new life in a different town. She found a new job, her children are going to school and she is currently looking for a permanent place to stay for her and her children. She even thinks of one day writing a book about her life and everything she has been through.