Every day, one woman out of three gets hit by her partner in France. This statistic is scary, but true, and it leaves me speechless. How could this still happen? And worse, how could this phenomenon amplify with time ? Has it something to do with the new independence of women ?
I’ve never experienced this in my life, and I wish I never will. But I’ve met two women, maybe more but they probably hid everything, who went (and still are) in this painful situation.
The first one was one of my previous boss. I didn’t know what was going on in her private life, until her daughter came to work in our office for a summer job. I got along with her very well, and she explained to me how she hated her stepfather. I thought he was beating or abusing her, but she denied and instead told me that her mother wasn’t free at all when she was at home. Her daughter said that her stepfather didn’t stand her brother and her presence in his home, and pushed them to live exclusively with their father. Her mother had still a good relationship with her ex husband, and he was jealous. She got along very well with her boss, and her husband suspected her to have an affair with him, so he insisted to fetch her each time she finished her, for spying her.
This situation has escalated to the point that one day, my boss didn’t come in the office for a whole week. Her daughter told me she was beaten by her husband and didn’t want to show us the marks she got from him. But she didn’t left him. “She ‘s too scared of him. He works in the security business, and she fears he could find her if she disappears. And God knows what he’ll do then “ her daughter told me.
The second woman I met didn’t show bruises or marks of violence at all. But we all noticed what was going on between her man and her during a Christmas Party a few years ago. She arrived late with her partner, with tears in her eyes, and didn’t say a word to her friends in the evening. They were just sitting in a table, apart from all of us, and she looked like she tried everything possible to calm him down. One of my friend told me her husband looked weird and mean, as he would burst out in a second. Two hours after they arrived, they decided to left. It was his decision. Later, I learned that he controls everything in her life, and that most of her friends suspect him of beating her, even they have no obvious proof of it.
You hear so much scary stories these days where the abusive partner eventually kills in a rage her woman because she tried to escape from him. So, quitting this type of man must be really, really difficult. With the presidential elections in France, this theme was one of the key element in the two candidate’s campaign, but I still wonder what Nicolas Sarkozy will do to keep his promises on this matter.
BTW, what is done to protect beaten women in your country ?