LA DIFFAMATION NE DOIT JAMAIS ÊTRE IGNORÉE

« S’il est au monde quelque chose de plus fâcheux que d’être quelqu’un dont on parle, c’est assurément d’être quelqu’un dont on ne parle pas. »
Oscar Wilde
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Photo Seokmin Ko
L’opinion affirmée amène toujours des réflexions, des remerciements, et des critiques.
En faisant le choix d’informer sur les violences psychologiques intrafamiliales et sur leurs conséquences souvent destructrices, parfois mortelles, je savais que je m’exposais à la censure, à la colère, à la haine de certains. Parce que dans notre société politiquement correcte, où il est cependant de bon aloi de s’opposer à tout, vigoureusement, sans pour autant proposer d’alternative ; où le citoyen reste l’enfant qui commence à dire « non » et refuse de dire « oui », se dresse lorsque le nombre le suit mais baisse la tête lorsqu’il n’a pas de soutien ; où les combats se répètent et les antagonismes se creusent ; où la justice est souvent piétinée, appelée au secours et critiquée à la même minute parce « qu’elle ne fait rien » ; où l’on confie aux instances un rôle maternel, pouvant ainsi leur demander protection, et s’y opposer comme un ado qui claque la porte ; parce que dans une telle société, on réclame de dénoncer le coupable, le criminel, le monstre, de protéger la veuve et l’orphelin, l’opprimé et le faible ; mais que pour le faire, il faudrait dans un même discours défendre plusieurs positions, souvent opposées, afin de ne choquer personne et de plaire à tout le monde.
Et si ce n’est pas le cas, on s’expose à la vindicte, à la critique.
Parfois pire : au jugement inique, à la calomnie et la diffamation.
Je viens, ou plutôt mon travail, celui de CVP, celui d’information, de soutien et d’accompagnement auprès de victimes de violences psychologiques, vient d’en faire les frais.
Et publiquement, puisque c’était sur un réseau social.
Diffamation : « La diffamation est une fausse accusation qui porte atteinte à l’honneur et à la considération d’une personne. La diffamation peut être raciste, sexiste, homophobe. Elle relève d’une procédure spécifique permettant de protéger la liberté d’expression. »
Il y a trois jours, je postais sur Facebook quelques lignes relatant une situation préoccupante laissant à supposer un inceste, sans qu’une décision de justice ne soit prise, malgré les signalements faits au procureur, les plaintes… pour mener une enquête sociale, pour protéger l’enfant le temps de l’enquête, pour vérifier les dires de l’enfant et de la mère et décider des mesures à prendre. Ce post a été plusieurs fois partagé. J’aurais pu m’abstenir de l’écrire, ou encore donner tous les éléments du dossier.
Dans un cas, je ne dénonçais pas le fait que la présomption d’inceste est encore trop rarement entendue. Dans l’autre je trahissais la confidentialité du dossier.
Bref. Alertée par ce post, une jeune femme voulant bien faire l’a mis dans un groupe privé pour demander, je crois, comment aider cette mère et son enfant. C’était public – mais je ne vais pas cacher ce que je fais, pense et dis – et visible par tous. Bons et mauvais pensants. Un mauvais s’en saisit, tel un mauvais renard – mais je ne sais pas s’il a tout compris à La Fontaine, puisqu’il se montre surtout corbeau – et lut, complètement de travers, le message. Pour en conclure dans un délire qui ne regarde que lui que je réfute la réalité de l’inceste et n’en fais qu’une fable utilisée par des personnes malveillantes pour en accuser d’autres de perversions sexuelles, de déviances criminelles et d’agressions sur enfants, le tout n’ayant jamais existé.
Fort de ses inacceptables certitudes, mon détracteur diffamant s’est empressé de conclure que je prône sans en comprendre les risques, tenants, aboutissants et conséquences, le SAP (syndrome d’aliénation parentale). Et que je remets en cause la parole de l’enfant ou de la mère. Et donc, forcément mais c’est bien sûr, je suis masculiniste. Heureusement que mon accusateur me le dit puisque je ne m’en étais pas rendue compte. (“Les masculinistes partent du postulat selon lequel l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes serait atteinte. Suivant ce constat, les hommes seraient susceptibles de vivre autant de discriminations que les femmes. Plusieurs vont jusqu’à dire que les hommes seraient victimes des « excès » des femmes, plus particulièrement des féministes, voire qu’ils subiraient un système matriarcal. De fait, non seulement les masculinistes ne reconnaissent pas la discrimination systémique que vivent les femmes, mais ils tentent souvent de se l’approprier à leur avantage.” https://www.ababord.org/Le-masculin…)
Et comme ce monsieur sait chercher, il a trouvé une preuve irréfutable, en cet article : Au sujet du déni parental : https://harcelementmoral.wordpress.com/… En effet j’y écris que : « Le terme d’aliénation parentale est sujet à de fortes polémiques. Nous reviendrons sur ces polémiques ; nous adhérons au sein de CVP à l’idée de l’aliénation, qui revient à dire que l’autre, l’un des deux parents, est rendu étranger à l’enfant, est mis en dehors du lien biologique et naturel. » Et là, la tête sur le billot, les pieds dans les fers, et soumise à un écartèlement, je dirai encore que le terme aliénation a un sens dans la mesure où un enfant, et un parent sont rendus étrangers l’un à l’autre et à eux-mêmes, par les manoeuvres, manipulations… de l’autre parent. Pour rappel : la notion d’aliénation (du latin : alienus, qui signifie « autre », « étranger ») est généralement comprise, en philosophie, comme la dépossession de l’individu, c’est-à-dire la perte de sa maîtrise, de ses forces propres au profit d’un autre (individu, groupe ou société en général). Il renvoie ainsi fréquemment à l’idée d’une inauthenticité de l’existence vécue par l’individu aliéné.
Zut, je n’ai pas précisé de quel sexe est tel ou tel parent. Parce que je ne crois pas qu’en la matière il soit question d’un sexe en particulier qui serait méchant et l’autre gentil. Quant au SAP, Dieu et ceux qui me connaissent en sont témoins, je refuse son utilisation, car bien trop dangereux, déformé, et nourrissant des théories qui ont permis des abus et des dérives… Jusqu’à Outreau.
Non content de cette judicieuse trouvaille, un autre article est venu en aide à mon accusateur pour forger sa théorie selon laquelle je serais : « une dangereuse manipulatrice proche des réseaux masculinistes et pédophiles, ainsi que de l’extrême-droite soralienne (1) » : Violence conjugale : les hommes battus http://www.doctissimo.fr/psychologi… Alors là, ce n’est plus la cerise sur le gâteau, c’est toute la cerisaie dans la pâtisserie. J’OSE dire qu’il y a des hommes battus. J’OSE même dire qu’il existe des femmes violentes. Et bien, c’est mal et mensonger et manipulateur. Parce que les femmes, elles ne font pas ça. Et si on le dit, on s’en prend aux femmes, aux féministes, au combat des femmes, on ne comprend rien à la violence systémique des hommes, on est extrêmement dangereux, réactionnaire facho et tout et tout. Chouette. Un post, deux articles ; l’affaire est dans le sac et elle y est solidement enfermée. Ce que je fais, dis, écris, pense, n’est ni vu ni lu ni commenté ni considéré. C’est un peu court, jeune homme, car on peut dire bien des choses en somme, aurait commenté un Edmond de ma connaissance.
Forte de cette leçon gracieusement offerte par cet individu qui avait plongé tête baissée dans la diffamation et l’injure, je me suis tout de même interrogée. Les mères qui maltraitent leurs enfants d’une façon ou d’une autre, sont-ce des femmes ? Les mères infanticides, sont-ce des femmes ? Les mères qui abandonnent un beau matin mari et enfant pour courir la prétentaine et le reste, sont-ce des femmes ? Faut-il, pour ne pas rompre avec l’ordre moral et attenter aux droits que les femmes se battent pour obtenir et défendre, nier certaines vérités ? Ais-je dit que c’était 50/50 et les femmes elles sont aussi méchantes que les hommes ? C’est un match de tennis, une partie de foot, il faut être à CETTE égalité pour ouvrir sa bouche ? Rêve-je ? Ou cauchemarde-je ? Suis-je en train de remettre en cause le combat féministe indispensable et loin d’avoir pris fin en parlant de ces femmes maltraitantes ?
Non. Je dis que ça existe, oui. Je dis qu’un homme a le droit d’être entendu parce qu’il est en souffrance, et non parce que c’est un homme et donc youpi ça permet de pointer du doigt les vilaines vilaines femmes. Je dis qu’un garçon de 11 ans qui est maltraité par sa mère sera un jour un homme et risque de reproduire la maltraitance vécue, ou de la vivre à nouveau. Je dis qu’une femme peut avoir des comportements incestuels, et même incestueux. Je dis que certaines épouses de pères incestueux vont couvrir leurs maris et nier l’inceste. Je dis que la justice manque de moyens, de formations, de connaissances, de soutien. Je dis que la société est en déséquilibre et que ce déséquilibre est dangereux. Je dis qu’il ne faut faire ni amalgames ni généralités. Je dis que chaque cas est particulier et que si la loi existe et pose des règles, des fondements et des bases, elle ne peut être appliquée réellement qu’en tenant compte individuellement de chaque situation.
Je dis également que : à chacun son combat. Je dénonce la culture du viol ; je dénonce l’inceste trop souvent banalisé, nié et réfuté ; je dénonce le harcèlement sous toutes ses formes. Je revendique le droit de pouvoir porter la tenue que l’on veut, où l’on veut, au poste que l’on veut, sans risquer de se faire chahuter d’une manière ou d’une autre. Je revendique d’avoir le droit à un salaire égal pour un poste égal. J’approuve la manifestation du 24 octobre, en Islande, organisée par des femmes qui ont cessé le travail à cette heure-là. La raison? À cet horaire, une femme a travaillé le même nombre d’heures qu’un homme à salaire égal, sur une base de huit heures de travail quotidiennes. Je ne suis pas dans le combat féministe. Et mes ami(e)s féministes le savent. Je ne le suis pas car je laisse à d’autres plus éclairé(e)s, plus informé(e)s, plus à même que moi d’en débattre le soin de le faire et ce avec suffisamment d’intelligence, de convictions et d’arguments qu’ils sont en mesure (d’essayer) de se faire entendre. A condition de pouvoir nettoyer les esgourdes de certains hommes bien trop coincés dans leurs privilèges et leur machisme dégradant, tant pour les femmes que pour les hommes.
En revanche je refuse de croire que mes propos serviraient la cause de ceux qui s’acharnent à détruire. J’affirme que jeter au panier ce que je dis est une régression tant intellectuelle que sociale, dangereuse et dégradante quant au regard que nous nous portons les uns aux autres. Et j’affirme être tous les jours auprès de personnes, d’être humains, d’individus bien faits de chair, de sang, et d’âme, pour les aider à mettre des mots sur leurs maux, ainsi que le dit l’expression. Pour leur permettre de sortir d’un enfermement, d’une emprise psychologique, physique également, économique souvent. J’affirme accompagner lors de procédures juridiques difficiles. J’affirme ne pas me porter en garante de la morale féminine et/ou masculine, mais humaine, s’il en est encore une. J’affirme avoir envie de vomir en entendant certains témoignages. J’affirme que nier le fait qu’un enfant puisse être utilisé comme objet de pouvoir et de jouissance ou comme arme par un individu, homme ou femme, est un aveuglement proche de l’obscurantisme primaire, du négationnisme, qui fait dramatiquement résonner le bruit de certaines bottes.
J’affirme qu’il est à chaque fois, dans chaque situation question d’une personne en souffrance et d’une autre qui a pour intention de détruire.
J’ai fait l’objet d’accusations et de diffamation. Je ne suis ni la première ni la dernière qui ai à subir ce type d’attaques, parce que le discours dérange. Je comprends l’opposition, je propose l’échange et le dialogue, j’admets la critique et l’emportements. Je m’oppose à l’agression sous toutes ses formes. Et parce que je m’y oppose chaque jour, j’ai répondu à celle qui m’était faite, en proportion de ce qu’elle a été.
Et je continuerai ainsi que je le fais déjà à dire que chacun a le droit d’être entendu, que si la présomption d’innocence existe, elle a un sens et mérite d’être respectée. Et que, dans ces cas de violences intrafamiliales où tout demeure si invisible et si tu, il faut d’autant plus s’interroger, aider, protéger et accompagner, lorsqu’une personne ose prendre la parole pour dénoncer.
La diffamation est une arme de violence psychologique. Il ne faut jamais l’ignorer.
La diffamation. Une idée excellente. Le banal assassinat ne tue qu’une fois, mais la diffamation tous les jours.
Terry Pratchett
Et chaque fois que je serai confrontée à la diffamation, j’agirai.
Et chaque fois que j’aurai vent de diffamation, j’agirai.
Et ne laisserai jamais une personne qui me fait confiance en faire les frais ou en subir les conséquences.
(1) Ainsi que ce monsieur l’a écrit dans un message adressé en privé à un certain nombre de ses contacts.
Anne-Laure Buffet
Publicités

UN TÉMOIGNAGE – MASCULIN – D’UNE VICTIME

Madame,
Une amie m’a recommande votre site ce matin. C’est un grand reconfort de pouvoir m’y reconnaitre. J’ai déjà posté deux commentaires pour alimenter le fil. Je vous remercie.
Vous faites appel à témoignage. Je veux bien vous offrir le mien. J’ai été harcelé physiquement (battu), verbalement et psychologiquement depuis 10 ans par ma femme et la mère de mes (…) enfants. Je me retrouve en tous points dans les témoignages des autres victimes sur votre site.
Le document que j’attache (en anglais malheureusement) a été préparé pour la défense de mes enfants en cour. Par consequent, il s’attarde surtout sur les épisodes violents et surtout ceux que je peux prouver ou corroborer. Il passe à côté de l’aspect, plus important à mon avis, manipulateur au quotidien – car comment pourrais-je défendre ses accusations en cour?
Ma pierre de salut a été une psychologue rencontrée lors d’une deuxieme tentative de consultation matrimoniale et que ma femme avait d’abord consultée pour son dixit: « anger management issue » – c’est-à-dire que la PN avait pour la première fois désseré les dents devant temoin sur ses petits secrets. Prenant au bond l’accusation de troubles psychologiques dont la PN m’affublait, j’ai demande une expertise sur la recommandation de la psychologue (qui avait compris alors ma detresse). Le resultat noir sur blanc: Syndrome de Stress Post Traumatique du à la violence domestique subit depuis 8 ans. Apres plus de six mois de reflection et de preparation, j’ai trouvé le courage de quitter le foyer et rassembler mes forces pour aider du mieux que je peux mes enfants.  J’ai réussi à soutirer un horaire de visite de 4 jours toutes les deux semaines sous la menace de révéler ses petits secrets.
J’ai épuisé toutes les méthodes hors cours pour obtenir davantage de droits ou de faire reconnaitre légalement ceux que j’avais soutirés; la PN a odieusement manipulé toutes les tentatives de médiation. Je me prépare donc maintenant pour la bataille légale. Je ne dispute que la garde des enfants que j’espère égale afin de les protéger psychologiquement contre les traitements qu’ils subissent et/ou auront sans aucun doute a subir.
(les éléments tels que noms, lieux… ont été retirés pour protéger l’anonymat)

TÉMOIGNAGE (EN ANGLAIS) – HARCÈLEMENT ET VIOLENCE – QUAND LA VICTIME EST UN HOMME

This is written to help third parties assess what needs to be decided to ensure my children’s wellbeing. I solemnly declare to speak of the truth and only in the interest of my three children.

“DSM IV Diagnostic checklist testing revealed several indicators of domestic abuse related to emotional, verbal, and physical abuse from his wife. He does not engage in any communication with her now except for necessary reasons due to his fear of escalation of discussions into arguments.

He relates having distressing recollection of events, distress on exposure of cues that resemble any aspect of the trauma, avoidance and numbing in terms of efforts to avoid activities, places or people that arouse recollections of the trauma. Diminished interest or participation in significant activities and selective amnesia is also being experienced”

After receiving this assessment and corroborating it with my own observations, that of my friends and my family, I overcame the shame, accepted its conclusion and entered personal therapy. I also realised that I was not able to cope with the constant fear of domestic abuse. Most importantly, I came to the conclusion that it is impossible to ensure my children’s future wellbeing without first removing them from witnessing this abusive situation.  It is my belief that I will be able to protect my children from a potentially abusive mother if I retained at least partial custody and parental authority, for obvious reasons. It is also my belief, that unless my access to the children is specified in an enforceable legal document, my wife will try to alienate me from my children or use her power to continue her abuse on me.

This document describes 45 cases of domestic abuse perpetrated by my wife since 2002. This is written from notes I took as a personal journal and from memories. When there were witnesses to an event, I have asked them to write their own recollection of the events and these witness statements are attached in appendix. When there is material corroborating the events, like emails, I have also attached them in appendix. Some events were witnessed only by me and my wife, or by my children who are still too young to recount what they saw, or my wife’s family, i.e. her sister and her mother, that I have not contacted to produce this document.  Also, my wife has confessed most of these events during “anger management” therapy and marriage counselling September 11 to beginning of 2012. Although counselling was protected by a confidentiality agreement, I will not hesitate to invoke the interests of my children to subpoena the counsellor if my minimum concerns for the security of my children are not addressed.

Chronology of events (numbered paragraphs are specific events or description of behaviour, non-numbered paragraphs are relationship milestones to help with the chronology of events)

First meeting in late 2001 in (…) to November 2002

  1. At the beginning of our relationship in late 2001, I noticed that she could become very assertive when in disagreement about things fairly mundane (like movie critics or politics). What seemed abnormal given my past experience at the time was her recourse to frequent false parallels to unrelated personal situation and ad hominem attack on character. At the time, I assume I was expressing opinions perhaps too insensitively and let it pass.
  2. During dinner, reception, or outings with friends, she frequently gazed angrily at me if she didn’t like my humour or the anecdotes I was sharing, and would take me aside at the first opportunity, to express loud and angry disapproval of my conduct.  Her behaviour was manipulative and had some effect on me. I became socially inhibited in her presence.

From our moving in together in November 2002 to our departure to our wedding in November 2003

  1. The more troublesome events started after we moved together in November 2002. Soon after moving in, more tension appeared. In my experience, there is a period of adjustment to a new domestic situation. However, when we had our first serious conversation on the necessary adjustments, I realised that if I recognised a wrong, she wouldn’t reciprocate and would rather escalate the matter. If I offered compromise, she would refuse it wanting “full apology” but no apology was ever enough.  The discussion, led in that manner, had no end. More concerning still, it seemed that the longer the discussion lasted, the more animated and the more vindictive she become. When short of arguments, she would attack my character and ultimately use insults. She would call me a “fool”, an “idiot”, “stupid”, and a “loser”. This is the first (verbal) abuse I remember experiencing. After a few hours, I asked her to let me go to sleep; it was late into the night. However, she came back several times that night, turning on the lights, waking me up, and wanting to continue the argument. I find depriving someone of sleep to be violent and it shocked me then and struck me as unacceptable lack of respect and denial of basic human dignity. It reached a point where she seemed “beside herself”, “enraged”.
    1. Nothing in my my previous (…) years prepared me for this so I was shaken, but determined in letting her know this behaviour was not appropriate. The next morning, she was remorseful and asked for forgiveness. I assumed this would not repeat.
    2. However, the same thing, with very little change happened a few more times in the first year after moving together. I don’t recall exactly when physical abuse started but in one particular occasion, when she had reached her “rage” stage, she threw punches at me. She showed remorse afterwards. After the event in which she physically attacked me, she promised on my insistence to seek professional help.
    3. I also noticed during the first months of living together that she would often yell at her mother angrily over the phone. I tried asking her to speak respectfully to her mother, but she dismissed it on the basis that I did not understand her culture. I remember strongly disagreeing and not accepting that one can talk to her mother that way and refusing to accept this as a cultural feature, but I did not confront my wife anymore on this topic. I became more convince that she needed help.
      1. I strongly suggested to my wife that she should seek professional help from the very beginning of the physical abuse. After we began to discuss more fully her childhood and her relationship with her father, I began to doubt whether she was responsible for her condition and thought it was my duty to try to support her, while at the same time refusing to accept violence as appropriate response to anything I did.  I became more resolved in convincing her to seek help.
      2. After a few months, I met her sister for the first time as she visited us from (…). A few minutes after she arrived, as (…) was preparing to go out with us, her sister and I decided to go to the corner’s coffee shop to continue our first conversation and acquaintance. We were not gone for more than 15 minutes. When we returned a few minutes later, (…) was in her worst state of rage. She accused her sister of trying to seduce me and called her “a slut” in her loudest shriek and in a sort of uncontrollable rage. At that point in time, I had known her sister for less than an hour. Her sister, although visibly distressed, was able to calm her down. I observed that her sister was acting as if she was used to this event (acting very much like a big sister calming a baby sister down).
      3. I came to (…) for the first time around Christmas 2002. I had met her parents in (…) in the summer of 2002. On January 1st, we had to sneak out, unbeknownst to her father, to visit her aunt and uncle as, I was told, her father had forbidden them to have any connection with that entire side of the family for a number of years. He had banned my wife’s sister for a period as well for not following this order (she was still “banned” when I first visited, but it ended shortly after that). I fell absolute revulsion by such an unnatural diktat but did not feel it was in my place yet to talk to her father. Although this is not directly related to my purpose, I feel it is important to write what she or her sister told me about their family history. This is hearsay, so others should correct and complete as I feel this is key to explaining my wife’s violent behaviour:
        1. Her father has physically abused his wife. In one instance at the beginning of their marriage, she sought refuge in her family (her brothers and sisters), hence the ban of that family. In another instance, she was injured and flew from the house, so he locked himself in with his daughters, telling his wife to come back or forego of her children.  My mother-in-law confided to me directly that she had been subject of violent abuse both as a child and as a wife when I complained to her of my predicament in August 2012.
        2. Her father physically and verbally abused her older sister, but I believed he never or only rarely abused my wife
        3. This is secret and not to be spoken of to anyone.
        4. (…) always had and keeps full admiration for her father and I have never heard her condemn her father for his violent behaviour in any way, but heard her often find excuses to explain it (notably to be found in his own childhood).

After being appraised of this situation, I tried again, and a number of times over the years after that, and with different tactics, to bring my wife in front of professional help, which she promised me to do several times in 2002 and 2003 before we got married.  She has always evaded it and eventually, after our marriage, denied she had any behavioural issues and accused me (and also her mother and sister) to be the cause of her anger.

From our wedding to our move to Paris

We got married officially in November 2003 and had a religious ceremony and reception in (…) in January 2004.

  1. The behaviour described in 3 to 5 repeated themselves periodically in 2003 and until July 2004 with little variation and at periodic intervals. In particular, she took the habit of waking me up to abuse me, she yelled insults, and she threw punches at me.

Our move to Paris in July 2004 to birth of twins in June 2006

In July 2004, we moved to Paris. I had this opportunity which she encouraged me to grab and I thought the change could do her good; I felt confident as I know the city well. Our professional careers, after a period of adaptation for my wife, took off around that period to culminate, in my case, at the end of 2008.

  1. As we had discussed when we moved, my job involved a lot of travelling (and would be almost continuously from then to the spring of 2009).  (…) became unhappy with the move to Paris. The arguments as described in 3 and 4 became more frequent, but with the notable change that she stopped apologizing afterwards and instead accusing me of provoking her.  We were not intimate anymore, or very rarely. I had learned a coping mechanism which was to flee the scene of the argument before it turned too violent. Also, I became better at predicting her temper flares and generally “walked on eggs” whenever around her.
  2. I have a god-daughter in Paris; she was about 6 years old at the time. One day, we took her and her younger sister to the circus. As they were playfully arguing about whom would hold my hand or sit on my shoulder, (…) got angry at them. Later on she confided to me that she taught “my god-daughter was trying to steal me from her”. She then developed a dislike for the mother of these two girls, which I have known as the wife of my lifelong friend since 1993. She disliked, as she put it, the fact that “she ran everything”. I found all this strange and totally unwarranted. Unfortunately, as a result, I saw these friends less often and mainly in (…)’s absence.
    1. This pattern of arbitrary disrespect or dismissal of my friends and family, especially the women, and very often complaining that “they ran everything”, were to repeat later, as will be read in what follows. At first, my reaction was to distance myself from my friends. I later became aware that I was being manipulated into a state of relative social isolation and tried to stop it but was not always successful. I also began to draw with apprehension stronger parallels between the behaviour of my wife and that of her father. I still felt my responsibility was to support her and try to get her help.
    2. During another visit in (…), around December of 2005, a family reunion was organised at my in-laws house (I believe it was our nephew’s birthday). I went for a job interview before the reception and said I would come back by taxi. There was a misunderstanding and my wife came to pick me up, but we missed each other. I arrived home 15 minutes earlier than her. In the living room, in front of the guests that had already arrived, she copiously showered me with insults yelled at the top of her lungs and she was visibly losing control of herself. This was humiliating. I walked up to her mother and told her: “I don’t feel welcome in this house anymore. Can I please leave?” Her mother refused.  I stayed expecting the matter to be discussed openly later but it never was.

During the fall of 2005, when we still lived in (…), we were both assigned to the same long-term project in the US. We moved our home temporarily at my parents in (…). From November 2005 to May 2006, we travelled in the US, separately, from Monday to Thursday, and met back at my parents’ on Thursday evening till Monday morning.

  1. Arguments similar to #3 became more frequent, but there was less verbal or physical abuse as we were in my parent’s house and she remained discreet enough that my parents never suspected it. I was too ashamed, and still hoping for her to get help, to discuss this with anyone else, even my parents.
  2. My wife had already offered me to divorce a few times at that point, when she was enraged, but would feign to have forgotten about it days later or unilaterally declared it did not matter. In the fall of 2005, I felt incapable of helping my wife anymore and it was my turn to suggest we divorced. She refused and expressed extreme sadness. I asked her again to seek help for her violent behaviour; she did not follow through. About 2 months later, my wife discovered she was pregnant.

 

From the pregnancy of the twins, December 2005, to our move back to (…) in January 2007

We went back to Paris in May 2006. She was admitted to the maternity in her 7th month. Twins were born June 26 two months prematurely and stayed in intensive care for two months until the end of August. We decided we needed to go back to (…) to raise the babies but to first go to my parents from October 19th to December 23rd 2006 to benefit from their help and experience; we also hired a nanny. I took a few weeks of parental leave, and after that did not travel and worked light hours until the end of October. I bought an apartment in (…) , near my wife’s workplace, naming my wife as the sole owner and we planned to move-in January 2007 after a short trip to (…). From the time the twins came to my parents (October 19 2006) to this day, we continuously had a full-time nanny in our employment to help with our children.

  1. We had planned for her sister, my sister and her mother to relay to help us in Paris until we moved. At the last minute, she told my sister to cancel her trip, for no apparent reason. I was embarrassed at the disrespect showed to my sister’s time, money, and feeling. I had never noticed before but realised she had developed an aversion to my sister, for no apparent reason other than my sister liking to spend time with me. I worried more of my growing isolation from my friends and family.
  2. On October 19 2006, the day of our departure from Paris, as I’m moving our belongings to a moving van, she started an argument. The twins were resting on a bed. In her rage, she threw a shoe at me, over the bed, and just above the twins’ heads. I ducked and the shoe smashed and broke a lamp. This was the first time that my wife was to display violent behaviour in the presence of our children. It was also the first time she used an object to attack me as she had always used only her fists before.

From January 2007 to the end of 2009 and our move to (…) (December 2009)

Her father had been very sick for a few years and during a visit in January 2007 was admitted to the hospital and died a few days later.

  1. In the Winter 2007, she became vindictive with respect to parenting. We had disagreement on parenting style. In a manner similar to all previous arguments, she tried to underscore how imprudent my approaches were, implying in advance I was responsible for any type of sickness or accidents that could occur. For example, waking up at 4AM on a cold morning, I had put the cover on the twins up to the chests. She woke up a few minutes later, and since she disapproved of the use of a cover, took pictures and sent one to my family over email, in which she accused me of being an irresponsible father. I had never discussed these issues with my family before and this was a wake-up call to them. I began to speak more openly of the matter in my family, which provided me with some relief. (…) sent several similar emails to my family over the years. This particular email, the first, struck everyone for its outrageousness. I have attached two witness statements of recipients of this email that attest that the text accused me of negligence that could have killed my daughter and that the picture attached was 138_3871. There is also in appendix similar emails that were sent to my family over the years.
    1. One can see from the order of the full set of pictures she took, which unbeknownst to her was downloaded to the family computer automatically later on and assigned number based on chronology of snapshots (see appendix), that the picture is a setup. She likely has moved the cover over the head of the baby to get the picture she wanted. I remember pulling the cover only to the low chest area 30 to 90 minutes before these pictures were taken and do not believe that a baby can move the cover this much when obviously in a deep sleep phase (see the clinch fists of the baby)
    2. (…) sent several similar emails to my family over the years. This particular email, the first, struck everyone for its outrageousness, but unfortunately has been lost by all recipients. I have attached in appendix similar emails that were sent to my family over the years.
    3. My wife uses exaggerations to paint other people’s action in a bad light, to shame them, in order to get the upper hand on them. For example, coming back from the doctor, she once exaggerated that the doctor had said our  son was “delayed” to make me feel guilty, but when I talked to the doctor he said my son was normal and not to be concerned. She told me once the doctor had said that we had neglected our older daughter’s condition which turned out to be untrue after I checked with the doctor. Another example is to say that the twins’ teacher said their behaviour was “out of control” which once I checked with the teacher turned out to be “lovely and gentle” behaviour
    4. She complained about the live-in nanny not doing enough work. Over the 2007 to 2012 period, we had about 10 different nannies or tutor staying in our employment. Out of those, 7 reported to me having verbal altercation with my wife. (…) have accepted to describe these altercations (see below). (…) has formally complained in an email attached, The others have not yet been contacted.
    5. In February 2007, while driving for week-end activities, she disagrees with the itinerary. She asked to be left on the curb. There is a lot of traffic on the particular road so I do not stop right away. She grabs the stick shift and tries to pull it in park while we’re advancing. The twins were in the car.
    6. In spring 2007, my wife expressed that she would now refuse intimacy with me, that I could not satisfy her need, and that she dreamt of a lover.
    7. In Spring 2007, the arguments she would start periodically turned more violent. She started to use objects to hit me. In one occasion, she smashed a pint of milk on my back, close enough to the twins that milk was spilt on them.
    8. She also started to attempt to destroy my personal property. In one occasion, she threw my work laptop computer across the room and on the wall. Same with my work phone.
    9. She also started to complain about our financial arrangements. She raided our joint accounts to put in her personal accounts. This confused me as I had put her name down as the sole owner of the apartment unit we occupied and which basically represented almost all our net worth at the time, but I was liable for the mortgage. I had difficulties to cope. I did not feel safe and was anxious about the well-being of my children. I felt uncertain about my parental rights in case of divorce and worried about leaving the twins to a mentally-ill mother. I continued to push my wife to seek professional help.
    10. In the fall of 2008, my sister visited us in (…) with my nephew who was then about 6 years old. On Sunday and the last day of their otherwise merry visit, my wife erupted with anger and yelled at my sister and nephew because they prevented her from doing some important shopping (winter clothing for the children). That was untrue as I had planned the entire weekend myself to maximise the time the cousins spent together. She showed disrespect to my sister and used abusive language in front of my 6 years old nephew and my own children. A few weeks later during Christmas, she apologised to my nephew but never spoke again to my sister; she often tells me all the ill she thinks of my sister. As I write this today, her vendetta remains unexplainable to me. My sister’s recollection of the event is in appendix.
    11. After the financial crisis, at the end of 2008, it became clear that my professional project, started in 2003, was going to fail. The announcement of a non-promotion shortly before Christmas was the confirmation and a disappointment given we had put almost 5 years of very hard work into it. When I went back home to announce the decision, my wife told me she wanted a divorce. She did not follow through, as repeatedly happen before and afterwards. We decided to seek our first marriage counselling – one of my objective was that this would lead to her getting personal therapy.

We decided to sell our apartment in early 2009 and we moved in a rented house in March 2009.  Selling this apartment was huge relief as I was able to split our net worth equally between us at that time, and tried to keep it this way ever since, despite my (…) frequent raiding of our various joint accounts.

  1. Unfortunately, our marriage counselling did not help. I saw first hand that it is hard to be taken seriously in my situation. I met the counsellor once before the first joint session to ask her, beg her really as I was desperate, to help my wife seek help. At the first joint session, the counsellor raised that point to say “all husbands come here to tell me to do something with their wife because she’s crazy”. This was a traumatic experience for me. I realised soon the joint therapy wouldn’t work either  as (…) easily eluded any difficult questions from the counsellor, raised anecdotal evidence inconsistent with the topic at hand, and generally tried to paint the picture of an uncaring husband, which excused her behaviour. I understand this is the typical behaviour of domestic abusers. We abandoned these sessions. I was hoping these to be a first step toward making her start therapy, but it had the reverse impact. She grew comfort from it. I developed a sense of hopelessness.

I learned around March 2009 she was pregnant with our youngest daughter, due end of September.  I suppose the counsellor asked us to be intimate, but I remember being intimate with my wife only once between Spring 2007 and March 2009.

  1. In April 2009, (…) verbally abused our nanny who decided to leave us. When asked what she had been told later that day, (…) shook her head in disbelief and simply told me “she couldn’t speak about it”.
  2. On an early Monday morning of April 2009, around 4am, (…) woke me up, as was often the case when her temper flared up, to have an argument.  I avoided the argument as was my habit at that time and decided to leave early for the airport where I had a scheduled flight. She went to the kitchen to get a long and thick kitchen knife, and came back pointing it at me, menacing, and staring angrily. I observed by her demeanour and from previous experience that she was not in full control of herself.  I retreated, grabbed my suitcase, which I always left in the doorway for fear of these situations, and went outside. From the sidewalk, I called her sister and told her what just happened. I asked her to call her to calm her down. I told her I did not know what she would do next with this knife. This traumatic episode left lasting scar on me. After I left, she turned the knife on an Australian aboriginal painting that was hanging above our bed and that had been given to us by my brother, destroyed it to pieces and hid it in the basement, where I later found it. A picture of that painting is in Appendix.

After this event, I was never able to sleep comfortably near her and took to sleep in a separate bed or on a couch, on my back, every time I could. With my wife pregnant with another daughter to be borne into an unhappy home and whom I could not consciously abandon, I decided radical steps were necessary. I quit my job, and found a new one in (…). I had promised my wife we would go live in (…) some day and I was hoping it would do her good, calm her down, and maybe I could once again suggest strongly that she sought psychological help.  We planned to move after the baby was born.

  1. On October 2 2009, as we’re leaving as a family from the hospital with our newborn daughter,  in the maternity ward, she yells  at the nurse that I was a neglectful father and accused me of wanting to expose the baby to the cold. A recurring exaggeration she has made over the years. This was patently to humiliate me and was done right in front of the twins and the public in the hospital.

From December 2009 to today

Unfortunately, my wife’s behaviour became increasingly erratic and unapologetic after we moved to (…). I started to take more detailed notes of her behaviour (starting just after #29).

  1. In March 2010, my friends (a couple with two young boys) came to visit. On April 2 2010, (…) became angry at our nanny. She yelled at her abusively. I spoke to (…) to explain that my wife had a temper and she needed to give her time to calm down. (…) learned that I had spoken to her in this way and she became angry and yelled at me in front of my friends. They were disturbed, concerned for their children, and decided to leave for the hotel.

The woman in this couple is a general practitioner in medicine and specialises in helping victims of domestic abuse. After she pressed me, I admitted to some of the above, including that I did not feel safe after the knife threats in #27. She explained to me this was domestic abuse. She explained the so-called “cycle of domestic abuse”. I recognised this was an accurate description of my wife’s behaviour.  I did not invite my friends to visit anymore as she has repeatedly used their presence to humiliate or hurt me. I grew more isolated from friends and family.

  1. It was in the spring of 2010, that my wife became again unhappy with our split of our family economics. She therefore raided our joint accounts again, left me to pay for overdraft on these joint accounts repeatedly, and confiscated my joint account bank card, claiming this account was all hers.
  2. During the Summer of 2010, (…) who had been a live-in nanny for us in (…) came to (…) to tutor the twins in French for 6 weeks. On August 6 2010, she came to me shaken and in tears and told me that (…) had verbally abused her. She was very emotional. Fortunately, her scheduled departure was the next day and she kept quiet until her departure. Her witness statement of this event is in appendix.
  3. On September 14 2010, she entered a room where I was playing with the twins, quite animated, and called me in her loudest voice: a “cunt”,  a “fool”, and alluded to “buttfucking my hockey friends”, in front of the twins who were then 4 years old.
  4. Later that same month, she comes in the room where I am playing with the twins, turns around, bends over, and pointing at her behind,  yells profanities incoherently (I could not entirely understand what she said)
  5. On November 23 2010, she woke me up in the middle of the night to ask me to do various unnecessary chores. I refused and took my son, who was sleeping in our bed, in another bedroom to put him back to sleep. She turned the light on in that room and made sure we could not fall back to sleep. I asked her to leave the room, she refused, and eventually I pushed her out of the doorframe so I could close the door, she then punched me several times and used fool language.
  6. On Sunday December 12, 2010, coming back with her mother from church, she yells at her mother, me and my son because her lunch is not served fast enough.
  7. On Sunday December 19 2010, coming back from church, she yells at me and hits me with  a cardbox in front of the children and her mother because the children did not put the first puzzle in the box before starting a new one.
  8. On March 7th 2011, in the middle of the night, she insists I must give powder milk instead of plain milk to our youngest daughter, then age 18 months, who was in my arms. When I start heating up milk in the microwave, she hits me twice violently on the neck from behind with an unknown object.
  9. Later in March 2011, she hid my car key and let me looked for it for hours to prevent me from leaving to work. She tried to camouflage this as me losing the key but she was caught trying to hid the key, and later admitted she had taken them.  This had lasting effect on me as I became paranoid about leaving my keys and phone out of my pockets and suspect the worst whenever I can’t find them.
  10. During a visit of her sister to the island in the Spring of 2011, her mother, her sister and herself went to visit family. When they came back, her mother and sister looked distressed. Her sister explained to me that my wife became angry that her mother spoke too long to her family and had driven recklessly fast on the way back. They plead with her to slow down but she did not listen. Her mother was so scared that she accidentally urinated  in the car.
    1. When in a state of rage which happened periodically since I have known her, I have observed that my wife will drive recklessly and is a danger to herself and other users of the road (see #18 for example)
    2. July 23rd, 2011. She verbally abuses the tutor of the twins. The tutor is shaken and leaves for one my colleague’s house, who was her friend. In the hours that follow, my wife’s anger escalates. I stay with the children and try to avoid her as much as possible. She eventually grabs a large bottle of rhum and drinks more than half the content, although she rarely consumes alcohol. The large volume of alcohol in her small frame leaves her in a drunken stupor for about 2 days and she must consult a doctor for a bloodshot eye and a large skin rash. In the days that follow, I try to put myself between her and the children; not wanting them to be exposed to their mother in her state of alcohol stupor and uncontrollable rage. Nevertheless, she makes frequent irruption in the room we’re staying in and insults me with profane language accompanied by lewd gestures (with strong sexual connotations) in front of the children. Please see the tutor’s witness statement in the appendix.
    3. On the evening of August 24th, at my parents’ home in (…), 4 days before the scheduled end of our vacation, on my sister’s birthday which we were about to celebrate, and 3 days before a large family reunion planned for my mother’s birthday where we would be meeting with my extended family, (…) asked to go to the restaurant but only the 5 of us. I accepted, seeing her temper rising and on the verge of collapsing. I tried during dinner to calm her down. On our way back, she suggests we could watch a movie on her iPad. which I declined. She then becomes extremely agitated. She shouts at me angrily. She grabs her crouch and yells loudly :”I’m a woman”. All of this in the car with the three children. She then asks that I drive her to a nearby hotel. I do so and drive back to my parents with the children. The next morning, she phones to ask that I bring her the children.  When I arrive, I want to drop the kids and leave, fearing from similar situation in the past that her temper could rapidly deteriorates in my presence. I want to avoid further display of misbehaviour in front of the children. She asks me to stay to discuss. I offer to discuss but calmly without frightening the children. She then grabs our youngest daughter and threatens to go to New York with all three. I refuse – I think she is not in a normal state and I fear for my children’s safety. On my refusal she says: “you’re going down”. “I’ll use my father’s money to pay for the best lawyer”. She then makes more lewd sexual comments accompanied by obscene gestures. All this in front of all three children.  I’m growing more concerned about her mental state. I resolve to take the children back to my parents for their safety. I gesture toward my youngest daughter to hold her, she’s in my wife’s arm, she pushes me back and hits me several times with her fist on my head, my neck, and my back. I plea with her to calm down and, to help her do so, offer that we leave together immediately to her sister’s in (…) until the end of our vacations. We went back to my parents and assemble our luggage in a few minutes to take the next flight to (…).  (…) has admitted these events to our counsellors and during our first mediation session on August 23 2012. Our counsellor told her I would be justified to call the police if such a situation was to repeat.
    4. November 4 2011. There is an altercation between my wife and our landlady with respect to a leaky faucet and other maintenance issues. The landlady accuses my wife of “flewing off” at her (Please see, attached in appendix, an email exchanges between my wife and the landlady). The husband of the landlady asks to meet me. I arrive at their house to find the man visibly shaken with emotions. She asks to please allow him to break the lease as they were not able to cope with my wife’s behaviour. That evening, my wife offered the landlady to leave the house and let me and the children stay in the house (Please see attached Nov 3 2011 , 9h17PM email). She did not consult with me before sending this message. Once (…) got calmer, a few days later, the landlady offered to renew our lease on the condition that all communication would go through me.
    5. September 2011 to March 2012. Started second marriage counselling. This time, the counsellor shares my concerns over my wife personality, who consulted her first for her “anger management problems” and she adapts the therapy accordingly. I explained to the therapist that in my opinion my wife needed individual therapy. Although she agreed, she convinced me to also try couple therapy with her. During that therapy, she asks the counsellor to test me for an “Asperger syndrome”, although the counsellor cannot contain her laughter I accept to be tested.  This resulted in my psychological assessment that revealed PTSD due to domestic violence and profound unhappiness in my life. During that therapy, I am also made to express myself more and expose my fears and hopes in front of my wife. This is unbearable to my wife. She ends counselling at the beginning of 2012 asking for divorce in the middle of a session, yelling at me and the counsellor and slamming the door. Seeing my distress, the counsellor convinces me that there was help available and I started individual therapy with someone she recommended. See attached email exchange from the counsellor from March 17 2012.
    6. June 23rd 2012, I ask her for separation. She asks me to reconsider. Later that night, she wakes me up, and runs to grab my wallet and tries to destroy my bank card but I retrieve it before she does. Her behaviour grows erratic, oscillating from reconciliation to aggressive verbal outbursts, during the night which I decide to spend mostly outdoors. I phone my family in (…) to stay in alert. They advise to call the police, which I decline without first talking to a lawyer, and instead phone her sister who is flying in the next day for a scheduled vacation. Her sister comes the next afternoon and is able to calm her down, but later on that week tells me she disapproves of my behaviour and is “on her sister’s side”.

Comments on events post separation

  1. June25th to July 9th: I ask for a meeting to organize custody but she claims her lawyer or her has no time. She argues her mother is too sick (She was hospitalized July 10).
  2. July 9th 2012. I receive a letter from her lawyer accusing me of harassing her to obtain this meeting and bluntly stating there is no urgency for that meeting and advising me as to the discussion I should have with my children.
  3. July 12th 2012. I instruct my counsel to tell the other side that the meeting is urgent because of my wife’s violent behaviour.
  4. July 13th. I learn in the morning that my sister-in-law is flying back to (…) and coming back to our house the next day. My sister in law sends me incoherent emails during the morning, where among other things she tells me she has been contacting my parents (see email). Mid-morning my wife tells me I will have to take care of the children on Sunday afternoon, when as she knows I’m scheduled to depart for a business trip. I must make a rapid decision as the events unfold and decide to cancel a 4-day business trip planned a month ago. It becomes clear I cannot acquit myself of my professional duties  given the pressure exerted on me by my wife.
  5. July 14th to 16th. My sister-in-law is in our house again. I ask her to go stay in her mother’s house, which is empty, as her presence is unnecessary and inappropriate in the circumstances. She refuses. In the next three days, she makes various threats and strives to disrupt the family life with total disregard for the wellbeing of my children.
  6. July 16th in the morning. The two sisters, despite my insistence, insist in engaging into an aggressive discussion in front of my son. They make various threats, insult my recourse to personal therapy, and my parental skills. My sister-in-law tells me, apparently to hurt my feelings, that she has removed me from her will with respect to the custody of her children because of my so-called dangerous behaviour with children, which she doesn’t specify. They tell me that they warned their family about me (which is news to me as my wife and I had agreed to leave things confidential until we speak to the children).  They claim to have influence on the island and name (…), their aunt, has being willing to testify against me. 6 minutes of this conversation has been recorded by myself for my protection and is available.

LA HONTE DE L’HOMME BATTU

Les hommes battus réagissent toujours comme les femmes violentées.
Et l’on oublie trop souvent qu’ils sont nombreux. Et qu’ils vivent dans la honte. 

La publication du témoignage de deux hommes battus a provoqué de nombreux commentaires sur LEXPRESS.fr. À découvrir ici.