An even greater goal, Anastasia explained, is deciding that as a woman, she will do what is in her power to stop the pattern that she sees unfolding far too often among other women, Hispanic women in particular.

“Young girls fall into the same pattern,” Anastasia said. “So many young girls don’t even finish high school before they turn up pregnant. Why? Because of the very issues at home. If as a mother, you do not set boundaries, if you do not protect yourself and your children against harm, the problems will continue. Girls imitate their mothers. If they witness their mother enduring so much violence, so many humiliations, what kind of example is that setting for them? They begin to believe that everyone gets treated that way, the abuse runs together until they begin to believe that it is normal. It is not normal. None of that is normal.”

Breaking the cycle is, according to Anastasia, a matter of choice, of purposeful action.

“There comes a time when you must decide that enough is enough, this is it, this stops here. I’ve always wanted the best for my children. The decision I took was in my opinion, the best I could have taken in order to ensure their happiness and security. I remind them that the changes we are undergoing are a part of life. I try to comfort them by reminding them not to attach themselves too rigidly to anything, not even me. We are not eternal; we are but fleeting beings made up of our experiences, our memories, and from now on, I vow to make them happy ones.”