Alumna Uses Fulbright Award to Empower Cypriot Women

Patricia M. Intini Martin ’77 front left

Lawyer Patricia M. Intini Martin ’77, recipient of a pres­tigious Fulbright Scholar Award, travelled to Nicosia, Cyprus, in August 2014 to support victims of nonviolent abuse. Martin realized her future would have a global impact during her junior year at Oswego. As one of only five SUNY students selected, Martin studied at the Univer­sity of Nottingham in England. To afford the trip, she worked three jobs and left with only a knapsack.

“You can have what you want and don’t need a lot of money to do it,” Martin said.

In Cyprus, Martin shared this mentality. Some low-income Cypriot women struggled to assert one of their basic human rights—the right to no contact—thinking they needed to have access to a lawyer.

Many countries, through their respective legislation and law enforcement, protect women from violence and domestic abuse. However, not all abuse is violent. Some abuse comes in the form of threats, stalking and harassment.

Funded by the Fulbright, Martin and a network of volunteers established the first free international self-help website providing resources to those seeking a divorce or to assert their human right to sever all communications with a specific individual—otherwise known as no contact. Through the website, One Woman at a Time, or OWAAT, anyone can have access to documents similar to those a lawyer would use in a legal setting.

Law students at the University of Nicosia created the documents under Martin’s supervision, and as a sustainable organization, OWAAT is completely run by volunteers. After Fulbright funding ended in May 2015, Martin picked up the cost to maintain the website.

“You have everything that’s necessary to tell someone ‘goodbye,’” Martin said. “We have the power to determine the people we will or will not associate with.”

—Aaron Wilson ’17

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