While the activists of the collective #NousToutes denounced Sunday night the "100th feminicide of the year" after the discovery of the body of a woman whose spouse was arrested in Cagnes-sur-Mer, Europe 1 collected the striking testimony from Laura, 31 years old. In 2013, this woman met a man who worked, like her, in the real estate sector. Overnight, he started to hit her. More and more violent, the blows lasted for years, until it came close to death.
"In February 2013, I met a man I fell madly in. After four or five months, he often came back in the middle of the night, under the influence of alcohol. After that, it was the first scramble, and we thought it was not much: Monsieur apologized, and the next day we said it was the fault of alcohol.
"I put myself in a total denial"
Then there are the first insults. (…) One year after our meeting, in spring 2014, he slapped me, he tried to choke me with a pillow. (…) The neighbors called the police, but he left before she arrived. The police did not advise me to file a complaint the first time. They told me that I had to leave, that it was not normal. I told what had happened, but I softened. I did not use the term conjugal violence at all, I said it was a big fight, with blows.
I managed to separate from him a few months, after a year. Finally, he came back to me telling me that he was going to change, that I was the woman of his life, that he regretted that it was the fault of the alcohol …. I went back with him . The first few months were idyllic. I got pregnant. When he heard the news, he was happy. I said: it's going to be a new man, it's going to change him.
And finally, at the end of four or five months of pregnancy, he began to retype me. I was ashamed, because my friends did not want me to come back with him, they said that a man does not change. I told everyone that he had changed, that everything was going well. (…) There I put myself in a total denial. I was so ashamed (…), I was also afraid for the child.
"The police should have called him"
Then there is the birth of my daughter and we go one step further. With alcohol, it gets worse. He wants to take the child in his arms and he makes it fall, so (I am) obliged to stamp so that he does not touch this child. It is you who take the blows, you do not sleep very much, because you are always afraid (…). I was never quiet.
" I could barely dial the number he ripped off my phone "
Then there was a second intervention of the police, in March 2017. He arrived late, alcoholic, I gave him a reflection and he jumped on me. The neighbors have heard, knocked on the door to stop it (…). Once again, he escaped before the police arrived. I think that the second time in view of my condition, maybe the police should have called him: he had strangled me, I still had marks on the neck, a little on the face.
I was ashamed, I was totally paralyzed, I could not (to complain). Each time, he said to me: 'No, no, I will change'. We went to 15,000 km for three weeks (…). We came back and the violence went up a notch, until we reached the third intervention of the police, where he came back dead drunk, again, in the middle of the night. (…) He arrived fully, he took a bottle of water, he swung it on my daughter and me. I managed to get my cell phone and call my parents, but I could barely dial the number he ripped off my phone.
"It's going to be your word against hers"
He was taking his golf club, he told me he was going to kill me, since I had alerted my parents. It was very difficult, I had my daughter in my arms. I was on my knees. (…) I knew that he was able to put this shot of golf club in my head, I was afraid for my life and that of my daughter, that of my parents. But what he did not know was that my parents had called the police. They arrived (…) and the police arrived immediately after.
I had a little click. I asked them, 'If I file a complaint, what happens?' The policeman was embarrassed. He said to me: 'It's not good what he did, to throw a bottle of water on you and your child, but justice will not do anything, you have no traces, these are not no blows'. Concerning the death threats with the golf club he said to me: 'It's going to be your word against his own'. So basically, as long as I would not be nearly dead under the blows, justice would not do anything. I thought it was useless for me to go. They are divided.
" I saw his eyes and I said to myself: he'll hit me when he goes back "
The next day it was a nightmare. My ex-spouse clearly threatened me with death. I saw that his eyes were completely black, I was afraid (…). It was home too, so he came back and he told me he would not leave home. It was a hell, for several months. And then there was that night from April 16 to 17, 2018. It was evening, I came back before him, I gave him a reflection on his drinking before his colleagues. He did not say anything in front of his colleagues, (…) but I saw his eyes and I said to myself: 'he will hit me when he goes home' (…).
"We get to be almost dead"
He returned, he put his threats into effect. He was hurting me, he was blocking me against the door (…). He took me, he lifted me up and he said, 'I'm going to kill you'. He strangled me in front of our two-and-a-half year old daughter, who witnessed the whole scene. I saw death in the eyes of my daughter, it was horrible (…). He had locked me up, so I thought I'd jump out the window. But it was too late. He hit my head several times against the wall, I fell to the ground. And there, he put himself on me … At least a bullet in the head, you do not see death. But a strangulation, being strangled … The person looks at you, you beg, you see death.
There is a miracle that happened, the neighbors knocked on the door. He stopped, and I said to myself: 'I have to open this door'. I had a double key in the living room, I crawled like a dog, there are no other words, to find it. I managed to open the door and collapsed in the hallway. (…) The police arrived and I filed a complaint with my father. I was well received, but at the same time I was on the verge of death. When we come to be almost dead, so that the complaint is made ….
"He did not have an electronic bracelet"
He was arrested, placed in police custody, and charged with the attempted murder. But on February 14, 2019, he was released pending trial, and it was a second nightmare that began. He did not have an electronic bracelet, not even a ban on being in Île-de-France, just a prohibition to get in touch with me. I came face to face with my parents on Easter Sunday … I was at the police station, we could only file a handrail with my father. The police were very bad, they saw that it was wrong. They contacted the investigating judge, they thought he was going to be remanded in custody. But she never gave the order.
Then one day, I drop my daughter at the recreation center and they say to me: 'Madam there is a problem, the town hall called us and told us that the father was looking for his daughter.' So I said to myself: 'I only have social networks, I have nothing left to lose'. My lawyer did not want but I did it. On May 14, I launched bottles on May 14 on Twitter. A week later he was remanded on the order of the prosecutor. "