I came to the UK in 2002 from Argentina with a student visa.
I met my first ex-partner became pregnant and started to look at possibilities to regularise my status. My ex-partner convinced me that he was going to sort out my immigration status, however, he spent all my money and used it for drug-dealing.
I and my son were trapped in an abusive situation, which was unsafe and terrifying.
I fled and became destitute and started to do sex work and earn an income.
I met another partner later on and started to experience physical and psychological abuse.
He would say: “You cannot do anything because you are undocumented, you have nowhere to go”.
He even denied me having a smartphone or access to the internet.
I felt I couldn’t report the violence I was facing to the police because I had nowhere to go, and I knew that I would get deported if I spoke out. I felt that I was in a prison.
I waited until my son was 7 so I could apply for residency and waited several years inside the violent relationship. I obtained leave to remain but cannot access public funds.
I feel I am buying my freedom, and that I am not free like other citizens, not even like other migrants. It is a double abuse by the state. I have been failed by the state. There are no laws to protect me at the moment.
My self-healing is that I don’t have to be a wonder woman, I am a normal woman and recognise my limits.
Everyday, I recognize how patriarchy and state violence has affected me that I know that this is only the start of my healing.
I recognise there are other women out there and that is why I am actively involved with the community.
Angela Camacho instagram: @labonitachola