Stefanía Lisa, after the nightmare: "Reporting is the only way to heal"

Stefania Lisa was born 29 years ago in Río Cuarto, Córdoba. For a long time she lived tormented, outraged by her dreams, although today she is calmer. And it is not for less: this week decided to make public his complaint that was filed in 2019 against Ariel Gallero, the former tennis teacher who sexually abused her since I was just 13 years old and for a long time.

The story began in 2006, when Stefi had to quit tennis due to the financial problems of his parents, time before he appeared Gallero to offer to train her free of charge at the Atenas de Río Cuarto club, with the mere objective of taking advantage of her conditions and leading her to become a professional tennis player.

“There he began to plot his ghoulish plan to abuse mebecause he knew that I was vulnerable. Tennis was my passion, my life, my escape from the conflicts in my house. And he presented himself as my savior. It started with the comments about my body, all of a sexual nature. Later, for my birthday, he gave me a kiss. He diverted the path that led me to my house and led me to a dark place; I had already changed the schedules to train at night. He told me that if I counted something my chances of playing tennis would be zero, because my only chance was him. Then the sexual abuse began, with carnal access, from Monday to Monday, every day, for two years. Without a condom, because he never took care of anything “, began her story Lisa, today a kinesiologist, in dialogue with Page 12.

-How did you make the decision to make what happened to you public?

-I decided to make it public because social condemnation is necessary for justice to continue and do not forget this. Also because my cause is not the only one: it is not only this person but there are a lot of other aggressors who are still outside as if nothing, with the causes drafted. And i feel like something began to change in society due to the movement of Not One Less and, without comparing myself in the least, by the case of Thelma (Fardin, Juan Darthés’ whistleblower), especially for its arrival to the people. It is important that people know that we continue to fight and that we do not shut up anymore. You have to report and be able to get involved in any situation of suspicion; It is not getting involved but getting involved. Society has to target the aggressor and not the victim.

-Thelma’s case opened many doors …

-Yes, I felt many points in common. They did not believe her, they treated her crazy, they dismissed her testimony for alleged psychiatric problems. How can we not be crazy with what we live? How can we not be with psychiatric treatment or therapy? It is not for less. Thelma made me take another step closer to making the complaint: the need to do justice. The last part was playing tennis again after eight years without touching a racket or watching a game on TV. My life revolved around tennis and I had lost all my ties.

-How had the story followed?

-After the first two years the abuse was discontinued because he began to abuse another girl and I was dating a soccer player to try to escape from there. He not only manipulated me, destroyed my self esteem but dismissed my entire circle so I had no one to tell. It took me away from my family, from my friends; He managed to get me to change schools due to demands and schedules. As a sequel to the abuse at that point I had a hard time building links, which still persists.

-He closed all the roads so that you could not leave …

-Yeah right; Not only did he close off the roads, but he threatened me and my family with death. He had a gun in the glove compartment of the car with the bullets in the door. It wasn’t just words.

-Did anyone around you know anything?

-No one.

-And what was the first door you opened to get out?

-The first door was opened when I was 16 years old, with the most widespread abuses. I saw myself with that boy in public spaces and I stopped being sexually abused by this person for two months, but I did receive constant harassment. He invited me to the phone, told me that he missed me, that he loved me; I was still in the club because I had my goal and, in my innocence, I believed that he was the only chance I had of being a tennis player. In 2009 he had a temporary partner who came to the club to scold me because, according to her, I was the one who invited him to the telo. I showed him the messages so he could see that it was the other way around. And I told my parents what had happened to this girl; I did not say anything about everything that happened with him. I went to report, accompanied by my father, and asked the police to come in alone to tell him everything; I wanted to denounce him. I told him everything and the policeman told me that if I reported him, maybe he would come and shoot me in the forehead, and that he was going to waste his time with a complaint because in two months he would return to him. I sure said he was my boyfriend, because he led me to believe that, but the policeman never understood that it was abuse and that I was a minor. In the end I did not make the complaint. My parents asked me and I told them it was my boyfriend, that we had a relationship, because that’s what he made me say. I asked my parents to let me continue with tennis because it was my passion.

Read Also:  The Daunting Task of Thwarting Francesco Bagnaia's Racing Ambitions

-You were threatened …

-I didn’t even believe it, it made me sick, but was what he told me to say. My parents were wrong: they never saw that this was unfeasible, nor did they say anything to him. We could talk about it and they repaired it because they always accompanied me, they believed me, they are with meThey care about my well-being, they take care of my sisters who are younger. They too were victims of a manipulator; They were wrong but I don’t blame them. They trusted. Today I have a partner with a very healthy bond, Juan Manuel, who sits next to me as the best. It is made of iron.

-How did you uncover everything?

-In 2010 I received a call from another woman, another couple who lived with him, and he told me there was a girl he had sex with, who was also a minor, which I already suspected. From that situation, I was able to tell my parents a little: I told them that I had had an abusive relationship but not that it had been forced. They found out many details now. At that moment I implored my mom not to make me report it, to let me continue with my life. That is why I did not report it. But harassment and threats continued. Six years ago I became a kinesiologist. In 2018 he asked me for a shift on a Saturday at half past twelve as if nothing had happened. With all the girls he did the same, with all of them he sought to make contact. Y What happened with Thelma, which mobilized me a lot. In March 2019 I decided to go back to playing tennis and I could not hit him because of the panic it gave me. I was terrified of hitting the ball, it was very painful. I was blocked as I had before: the first time it was a tournament in Estudiantes de Río Cuarto, as soon as the abuse began. He took me out of the hair court, he took me to Athens to put me on the fronton, he told me I was a shitty shit and that it was useless. That blockage was part of my life until today, although luckily a little less. The therapy helped me rebuild my self-esteem.

-And you could report it …

-With the support of my family and my friends, Despite the fears, I decided to report it. I processed it for a few months and, in December 2019, I started at the Under-Secretary for Gender. It was a necessity to do justice. Three days later, Thursday, December 12, I already made the criminal complaint in Unit Number 1 of Río Cuarto. They elevated him to the prosecution. I had been summoned for psychological expertise in March 2020 but the pandemic came and it was postponed. My expertise was taken in November and December, and it was a good report because the mental damage resulting from sexual abuse was well written that I suffered because of this person. It is important to show the symptoms (affective dissociation, vulnerability, isolation, eating disorders, frustration, anxiety, depressive states, emotional instability, according to the report).

The light begins to appear finally, amid so much gloom: last September 30, Ariel Gallero was indicted for Sexual abuse with carnal access in a degree of aggravated attempt, qualified by the condition of person in charge of education, all in real contest. Death threats are also listed. In November, summoned for an investigation, he refused to testify: He said he did not know Stefanía. They have already carried out a psychiatric examination to find out if it is attributable, the result of which is not yet known, and on February 3, they will do the psychological test, in addition to calling to testify to the witnesses provided by the survivor.

-Are you satisfied with this today? How do you want this story to end to close the circle?

-I feel good because the cause is advancing. The times of justice are different from what one needs, but I believe that measures were taken quickly. I am satisfied with the actions of the justice system, of the entire prosecution service, because of how they treated me. After having made the complaint I relived a lot what I felt, as if the abuse had happened the day before, I began to somatize, with panic attacks, eating disorders. I was healing little by little. Justice protected me with measures to prevent contact. I feel cared for by my circle, very accompanied by my family, my partner, my friends, my patients, my paddle partners. I stopped playing tennis again and started playing paddle tennis; I’m still in contact with the ball but with a paddle.

-And on a smaller court.

-I want to tell you something that happened to me. With the paddle I could play a quiet turn, but in tournaments the same thing happened to me as with tennis, I blocked and couldn’t hit the ball. At that moment my hand, body and mind were paralyzed by this torment of memories. The next day after the media boom, I was able to play a quiet tournament. I felt light, with less weight, I once again felt like the little Stefi who won the tennis Nationals. For me, emotionally, it is a triumph. It is my greatest triumph, my greatest battle, because I hope that justice is served. I’m sure the guy is going to jail. It would be great if die in jail so he can never hurt anyone again. Now many more are going to dare to report. Hopefully it will serve to change: it is my fight from Río Cuarto. Reporting, not keeping quiet, is the only way to heal.

[email protected]


Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here