“40 countries before 40”, the story of Silvinha Mantovani who left everything behind to escape gender-based violence. “Sometimes even I don’t believe it as I managed to survive all that. I reached the bottom of a cave. But in this cave there was a passport and this passport saved my life. It hurts me a lot to know that many women have not had the same luck as me”.
Silvinha Mantovani, a lawyer of Brazilian origin living in Spain, had the need to escape from a toxic relationship based on gender violence and to travel to free herself and find herself. A change in her life that is reflected in her new book 40 antes dos 40: Um passaporte salvou minha vida, where she narrates the experiences, she had on a journey that empowered her as a woman.
Gender violence and abusive relationships remain an unresolved problem in a global society in the 21st century. Thousands of women suffer from this situation and overcome by fear, do not flee towards a better life.
For this reason, cases such as that of Silvinha Mantovani, which is set out in her new book 40 antes dos 40, serve as an example to understand that there is always a way out for all those women who live with a situation of gender oppression.
“40 before 40: The passport that changed my life
The lawyer, writer and lecturer from Paraná is 36 years old and needs to escape from an abusive and toxic relationship. Almost penniless, she decides to flee after being threatened with death by her former partner. It is from that moment on that Silvinha decided to visit 40 countries before her 40th birthday, with the aim of finding herself and starting from scratch.
Throughout 8 chapters, the author explains how a passion, in her case travel, can be the burning nail to be grasped in order to be happy and fight for one’s dreams. A set of adventures that turned Silvinha Mantovani’s journey into a spiritual one that allowed her to be reborn.
According to the author, this was the way she found to share her story and encourage other women to follow in her footsteps and inspire them to fight for their dreams, become psychologically stronger and leave toxic relationships behind.
“Someone who psychologically abuses another makes us think that we will not be able to do anything without them. The main aim of the book is to help other women get out of this kind of relationship, whether it is by travelling, studying, working or building a new life on their own,” the author adds.
The book 40 antes dos 40 was first published in Portuguese by Feliz publishing house and will be available in English and Spanish from 2021.
A story based on real facts: the life of Silvinha Mantovani
Born into a humble family in a small town in the interior of Paraná – Brazil, Silvinha Mantovani had to start working early, at the age of 10, in order to help with the household expenses. This led her to work in different professions, always with the hope and ambition to aspire to something more.
From a young age she had to live with domestic violence, the result of her father’s alcohol addiction, and with the idea that she was destined exclusively to stay in the village, get married, have children, and hopefully finish her studies.
Even so, this did not stop her and shortly before her 18th birthday she left home in search of a better life, working everywhere she went. At the age of 23 she managed to start studying law.
Finally, in 2006 she moved to Spain, where she started a relationship that would become her nightmare. It was at the age of 36, inspired by the book Come, Pray, Love; she decided to leave that life and visit 40 countries in less than 40 years, taking advantage of cheap flights all over Europe.
Silvinha has been conquering not only the world, but also the Internet. It has more than 200,000 followers in its social networks, where it shows in a funny and spontaneous way its trips around the world.