The vice-president of El Español and lawyer, Cruz Sánchez de Lara, presented her second book, “Maldito hamor”, a plea against psychological abuse, in public yesterday afternoon.
And she did so in front of a crowd of more than 300 people, surrounded on stage by the magistrate of the Central Court of Instruction 3 of the National High Court, María Tardón, the Minister of Culture of the Community of Madrid (PP), Marta Rivera de la Cruz, and the Minister of Defence (PSOE), Margarita Robles, in the Espacio Telefónica, in the heart of Madrid.
“There are many women who have thought of suicide as the only way to end their suffering. Women who want to die. It is a reality. In this second novel I wanted to go a step further. To raise awareness”, said Sánchez de Lara.
“The novel is conceived as a legal story. Because there is prison, there are deaths, there is a judicial investigation, there are forensics…. It has an undeniable legal charge, I can’t deny it. After all, I am a lawyer,” she added.
The author tells the story of Clea Castán, a young architect specialising in renovations. Her life could not be better. The daughter of a successful consultant and a housewife, who adore her, her life is turned upside down when she is commissioned to renovate a mansion in Biarritz where she meets an English aristocrat, Henry Astor, a passionate and sensual love that is not what it seems. A relationship sick with jealousy, perversion, obsession, selfishness, abuse and death.
“What I relate is a reality of living death. The woman experiences helplessness syndrome. She gets used to only bad things happening to her. It’s like that experiment they did with laboratory mice where they put food at the end of the maze. To access it, the mice had to be shocked. The first and second time they turned back, but by the third time they understood that they had to suffer if they wanted to eat. They normalised the suffering in order to gain access to food. It’s the same in these cases,” he explained.
In “Maldito hamor” Cruz Sánchez de Lara describes in detail the psychological abuse in a relationship, including sex.
“In my book there is a lot of talk about sex. Because sex with an abuser is so addictive that normal sex for the abused woman may not work. This is a reality that I clearly denounce”, she explained.
The problem with psychological abuse is that it is usually more subtle, because it degrades, subjugates and humiliates little by little. “A relationship that may at first seem idyllic can end up turning the woman into a victim who, in her desperation, finds no other way out than to want to kill or wish to die,” she said.
According to the magistrate María Tardón, it is “an exciting book, a psychological thriller full of borderline situations about this type of destructive relationship. Undoubtedly, a bedside book”.
In the opinion of the Regional Minister of Culture of the Community of Madrid, Marta Rivera de la Cruz, “it is a story that is very well put together, that is very solid. The protagonist is an extreme character who has everything but has nothing”, she said. She went on to relate a similar case of a friend of hers.