By: Adley Rivera Hernández
Everyone thinks that life does not change from one day to another, but that’s not the case for Aleida Rivera Hernández. She, like many other people, knows what it is to look beautiful one day in the mirror and the next day having a bruised face.
Aleida was born on October 5, 1995 in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. Her parents, Aleida Hernández and José Rivera, offered a dignified life and instilled extraordinary values that make her to be the strong and courageous woman she is today. Since she was little, she was respectful, humble and loving despite having a strong character. She attended elementary school at the Piaget Bilingual Academy and then finished high school at Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepción in Manatí.
She was an honor roll student and was active member of associations such as the Student Council and the Directive. After completing high school, she was accepted into the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez to study pre vet. When starting college, she moved from her home in Manatí and started living in Mayagüez.
Despite the radical change, she was able to maintain control of her social, emotional and academic life. Two years later, she decided to do the bachelor in animal industry also, so is currently doing two baccalaureates related to her future profession, veterinary.
Everything began to change when she met Juan Vélez in her third year of college. They met because they had friends in common and after several months they became friends. They stayed a year like friends and then they became a couple.
At first everything was wonderful. He was always watching her, treated her like a princess, took her out and shared everything. He never said a “no” to her. Aleida had no complaints about him.
After 8 months of relationship problems began when Juan had an argument with Aleida’s younger sister, Adley. In this discussion, Juan was upset because Adley had failed to help him when he had damaged his truck and he was so upset to the point that he became a threaten. After several apologies Aleida forgot the incident and continued the relationship.
After this, Aleida realized several lies by him and decided she should put an end to the relationship. At the end of the relationship, they decided to stay friends because they had friends in common and classes together. The day after having completed the relationship, he was looking Aleida, telling her that her truck had an empty tire while she was in class, and she gave the keys to Pedro. After fixing the tire, she offered him transportation. When he were driving the truck lost its brakes and crashed. They were safe but the bus was totaled. Since then, the family of Aleida and she distrusted him completely and with good reason.
Days after leaving a meeting for a group project in college, he urged her to return to being engaged with him and her refusal was the breaking point for him; he gave her a beating that left her with broken and bruised body parts. Aleida says his eyes changed when she told him she no longer wanted and that he had to accept that they would not get back together. That was when he made the first of many fist in the nose until she fell to the ground and started kicking. Fortunately, a student was walking by and saw the event.
Police arrived at the scene and Juan was imprisoned and his bail was set $ 20,000, wich were paid a day later. After two weeks, Aleida’s new car was burned by someone, commanded by Juan, but with no proof the police could not charge him. She found out when several people approached her to say that he has been admitting the crime to others.
The following months were seen in the court where most of the time ended up changing because the need for other documents. In October 2014, the court decided to lock him in a psychiatric facility because of his bad mental state, until 17 November.
Aleida has continued her studies at the university and attends a support group for battered that the university offers. She also gets counseling by a psychologists from the university program Siempre Vivas. She plans to graduate as soon as possible and go to continue their graduate studies in the US and, if possible, stay and live there.