Oise / Maignelay. Intra-domestic violence: Children more adults than their parents

Because they could no longer cope with the situation at home, two children have the courage to talk. From a very young age, they remember their drunken father who became violent with their mother and with them. They confide in the nurse and the most important education counselor in their college. Heard by the gendarmes, while their father asked them not to say anything so as not to get bored, the two children speak honestly. Also heard, their mother confirms their statements: beatings, slaps, insults, humiliations … Placed in police custody, the father admitted the facts while minimizing them. Since January last year, he has been placed under judicial supervision with a ban on getting in touch with his wife and children. He returned to live with his parents, followed the psychological care imposed on him, and stopped drinking altogether.


“I was not aware of the damage I did”

At the head of the court, in early April, Dominique (first name changed) faces the judges, but also her children, who are both present, accompanied by their mother and a lawyer to defend their interests. Violence? Yes, he recognizes them, “a few slaps behind the head”, “a few kicks in the ass”, “small punches to tease”, in short, nothing bad. The president takes it up: “Your kids both said they were scared of you!” Dominique apologizes: “I had thrown myself into alcohol, I was not aware of the harm I did. I did not think they could think all that” He highlights the fact that he no longer drinks a drop of alcohol – his blood tests prove that – that he left the house to them, that he has respected the whole protocol and he only wants one thing today: “My goal is to continue to follow the protocol, to be impeccable and to return home.”

A mother who is unable to protect her children
His partner agrees. “I think he is sincere today,” she says shyly, ready to resume cohabitation. However, the president reminds him that she was not very protective of her children, that she locked herself in her room when the atmosphere degenerated. She admits it because she saw herself as “powerless” to handle the situation, even a victim of her husband’s violence.
It is for this reason that a lawyer is present to defend more specifically the interests of the two children. Me Grévot begins her argument by emphasizing “the courage of these children who behaved much more as adults than their parents”. She evokes the violence, the insults, the almost daily humiliations that these children have known for years. And she’s worried about the future. “Madame is still unable to protect her children,” she says, before wondering about the “healing” of the father after “such strong and old alcoholism.” She asks Justice to protect the children.

Avoid repeating facts
The prosecutor shares this view and evokes “the efforts of all sanctions, which must at the same time punish this impermissible conduct and at the same time allow a resumption of” normal life “by avoiding renewal of the facts. He demands six months imprisonment with a conditional suspension with duty to care work and provide compensation to its victims.
The defense attorney then enters the scene. He also welcomes the “children’s courageous statements” before addressing his client’s situation. ‘He acknowledges facts and has become aware of his actions. He says it himself: I was wrong all the way. ” The lawyer presents the blood tests, certifying that Dominique no longer consumes alcohol, and concludes his argument with these words: “With the support of the family, he will be able to get out of it”.
But it is Dominique who has the last word at this hearing. He addresses his children and his partner to send them an “apology” right in the eye.

The father must prove himself
The judge largely complies with the prosecution’s demands by handing down a six-month prison sentence with a conditional two-year suspended sentence accompanied by the obligations of psychological and addiction care, to work and to compensate the children up to € 1,000 each. . But she also added a ban on the family home so Dominique could prove herself before asking for the ban to be lifted.

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