Diakonia - People change the world
In her marriage, Griselda fell victim to the strong macho culture in Honduras. Today, after braking free from her marriage, she runs a women's shelter for womenwho is in the same position as she once was.

Griselda Lupi runs a women's shelter

Griselda Lupi is a passionate change maker who is working courageously alongside others so that people living in poverty can gain power over their own lives.

11/5/2013 Publisher: Lena Hansson

Griselda's husband was unfaithful

Griselda Lupi was just a child when she got married: 16 years old and full of expectations.

"I thought my husband loved me, that we would live a happy life. But my life didn’t turn out as I thought it would at all."

Griselda's husband was notoriously unfaithful. During their 20-year marriage, he had five children with four other women. At the same time, he demanded complete control over Griselda.

"This is normal for men here in Honduras. Nobody raises an eyebrow," she says.

Completed studies against all odds

He didn't want to let her study. He hid all her application forms, put her ID card where she couldn't find it and got angry when she nonetheless managed to apply to university. By working two jobs and constantly struggling to organize a babysitter for her daughter, Griselda managed to complete her studies.

Three siblings died

She came into contact with Diakonia's partner organization, CDM, learned to put what she was going through into words and met other vulnerable women.

Personally, she hasn’t experienced physical violence, "just" emotional. But during her childhood she was forced to watch her mother being constantly assaulted by her husband. He hit her so badly that she lost three of her ten children before they were born.

Educating and changing men's attitudes

Today, Griselda uses her own experiences to help others. She trains police and judges to stop saying "you only have yourself to blame – after all, you were wearing such a short skirt" or "it's only right that you were raped, dressed like that". She helps run a shelter for vulnerable women and leads self-help groups for women affected by violence.

In Honduras, this is no simple task. Women's rights are not prioritised among politicians, and many men see Griselda's work as a threat.

"They call me a witch and say I just want to provoke people into getting a divorce."

Her work makes a difference

In Honduras, a country smaller than Sweden, on average one woman per day is murdered simply because she is a woman. The macho culture is strong. Men are seen as superior to women, which is why they can treat women as they please. For Griselda, continuing the fight for change is a self-evident mission. The results of her work are visible: women are gaining new confidence and getting out of difficult situations, while men are starting to reflect on social norms.

"It's fantastic. I am happy to be able to help other people. It also helps me to heal my own wounds."