INTERVIEW Lawyer specializing in the defense of victims of domestic violence, Janine Bonaggiunta signs the book “Un point c'est tout”, a practical guide for victims and their relatives
Lawyer specializing in the defense of victims of domestic violence, Janine Bonaggiunta signs the book “Un point c'est tout”, a practical guide for victims and their loved ones. — Sylvia Galmot
- Lawyer specializing in domestic violence Janine Bonaggiunta, who notably defended Jacqueline Sauvage, signs the book Un point c'est all.
- A practical guide to help victims come out of silence, take legal steps and rebuild their lives after experiencing domestic violence.
- His book is also aimed at the relatives of these victims, so that they can listen to them, reassure them and help them as best they can.
Finding the right words. Know how to listen. To reassure. And help. When one thinks of being faced with a victim of domestic violence, it is often difficult to know how to accompany and help a daughter, a sister or a friend under the influence of an abusive partner.
This is what Me Janine Bonaggiunta, a lawyer specializing in the defense of marital victims, who defended Jacqueline Sauvage and signs today One point, that's all wants to change > (ed. Kiwi). “A simple guide, for everyone, with practical advice,” 20 Minutes. On the occasion this Friday of the International Day for the fight against violence against women, the lawyer gives her advice to improve support for victims and enlighten their loved ones on the role they can play.
Why this title, “One point is all”, and this cover photo representing a palm of the hand marked in its center of ;a little black dot?
First, the book is surrounded by a banner specifying: “ This book can help you or someone close to you who is a victim of violence. We invite you to; throw away this blindfold ». Everything is thought of out of concern for the victims.
This choice on the cover is in reference to; the initiative that has been publicized in recent years: that victims of domestic violence can be easily identified, from a simple little black dot drawn in the palm of their hand, and thus be able to ask for help from merchants, pharmacists, in complete discretion. It’s commendable, but I don’t feel like it was right. much followed by effects, most certainly by ignorance.
This book intended to victims of domestic violence and to their loved ones, Janine Bonaggiunta has taken care to surround it with a headband that she invites to wear. discard, thus ensuring discreet and safe reading. – J. Bonaggiunta
With this book, loved ones can become aware of the decisive role they have in life. to play. And entrust it to the victims, so that they realize their turn that they are victims of violence from which they can free themselves, and stop feeling guilty. From where? the importance of defining the different types of violence — physical, psychological, verbal, economic, sexual.
What signs should alert the victims themselves?
It begins with isolation, from family and friends, who will be criticized, gradually kept in check. the gap. By small remarks to belittle, denigrate the victim. By an injunction or even an obligation to stop working, for more control and influence over her. When you can't see anyone, you can't talk.
There is also the control: of the dress code, of the timetable. It can also be financial: the violent spouse can confiscate the bank card, misuse his money and his property.
The cycle of violence always follows the same pattern: the seduction phase, where the author shows himself in his best light. Then he establishes a climate of tension, where the victim is worried, tries to smooth things over because she feels the next phase coming: that of the explosion of violence, which can be psychological and physical, occurring in front of the children. And finally, the justification phase, during which he minimizes his actions, blames his victim, asks for forgiveness. And again, with less and less seduction and forgiveness over the years, and more and more control.
And the signs that should alert relatives?
It’s when a woman who is naturally close to her entourage no longer comes to see her parents or her friends. That we notice a change in his physical appearance: long sweaters or glasses that hide the marks of blows, thinness and signs of fatigue, dark circles that widen. Or a change in behavior, withdrawal, anxiety, sadness or irritability.
At the same time, the author puts it off very well: he may have yelled; and banged on the way in the car and be very outgoing during the family reunion, where his wife will be prostrate or the nerves to die. alive.
What would you advise relatives to support and concretely help a victim?
Even if it is delicate, you have to dare to talk about it, to say “I am here! if you need to talk. I believe you, I don't judge you. And I don’t want anything bad to happen to you.” We must not trivialize the violence suffered, but understand the victims: like victims of war, they develop post-traumatic stress syndrome, are in a state of stupefaction and permanent trauma. They have a great need to be listened to and reassured. And do not hesitate also to say it – with the right words — if it is noticed that the children seem affected by this violence, whether they are witnesses or direct victims.
Then, it is a question of offering all the help that we are able to provide: financial assistance, accommodation, a vehicle, support in legal and administrative procedures . To get out of this cycle of violence, the victims need outstretched hands, because they are psychologically vulnerable and very often in precariousness. financial: when their spouse forced them to pay stop working, that housing is at a loss; his only name, which he confiscated; resources and means of payment, it’s very complicated; to leave, especially if you have children.
And what do you recommend? a victim, how “well” preparing for departure?
It’s essential to keep your job, it’s a window on the outside and it allows you to maintain a semblance of financial autonomy. If they can, in a very practical way, it is necessary to prepare a bag with the identity papers, the payslips, the health books. children, money if possible, so as to deal with the most urgent.
But once again, a victim cannot do it alone: you need the help of parents, friends. And means: one cannot say at all. a woman “go” if she has no solution to relocate with her children. All this must be anticipated. Otherwise, it’s the risk of seeing her return to her violent spouse, which unfortunately happens very often.
In the event of physical violence, she can lodge a complaint. But often, overwhelmed by emotion, she can lose the thread of her story, forget decisive elements to characterize the facts within the framework of the legal procedure. Do not hesitate to approach victim support associations, which can help write down everything she has been through. So that the magistrate then has all the elements to issue, when possible, a protection order, allowing him to remain in the marital home without the perpetrator of the violence.
On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, a topic in great national cause in France, where are we in this battle?
Even today, I see absurdities: women file a complaint without this preventing their spouse from returning to the marital home that same evening. I see women who, as part of their complaint, are examined by a unit doctor; medico-judicial who issues a medical certificate with probative value, without the perpetrator of the violence being prosecuted, because the facts are not considered serious enough. I see women trying to file a complaint, who is told to come back the next day because there are no staff available. This case occurred and led to the death of a woman, killed by her companion who then gave himself up; death.
To fight effectively, you need considerable resources, specialized brigades, psychologists and teams trained in the collection of complaints within the police stations. But also trained magistrates: I still see some who do not understand why a victim stays with the person who rapes them, because they do not understand the notion of control or precariousness. financial.
Finally, it should be possible to expel the violent spouse from the marital home, as in Spain, and thus allow the the victim and her children to stay there, in safety. And put in place quotas for social housing and priority jobs for victims, to offer them effective means of leaving.