On June 10, 2022, a man accused of beating his wife appeared in front of their 12-year-old daughter 12 years earlier.e Correctional Chamber of the Court of Val-de-Marne. The child insisted on participating in the debates.
Anais*, 12, takes the stand without much hesitation. She watched her parents testify a few minutes before her, each giving their account of the two disputes that led them to court, after an extramarital affair and endless separation. The child’s legal representative and her lawyer wanted to dissuade her from attending the hearing, to spare her a fight in the courtroom. The prosecutor also believes that “the place is not a place for a child.” And the defendant’s lawyer will remember his blows: “The presence of this little girl compels us to be very moderate.”
But Anna insisted on hearing everything, drinking from the dregs, and thinking she had a saying: “He has always lied to us. What I want is not to see him anymore.”
“We were waiting for her”
The father, who is the accuser, admits the blow, gives him a look of pain, and sinks a little more. Mother, on the contrary, is upright. And the court is sorry: it’s the last word they wanted to avoid. But since adolescence exists, it is necessary to question it.
What can you say about violence?
“He hit me.
– when ?
– Every time ?
– yes. And he was always lying. He said he would break up with Mrs. We were expecting that.
“It’s big business. This is not a discussion to have with you. Do you feel betrayed?”
– yes “.
In this battle between a traitorous father and a mocked mother, the young girl sided with her mother. The crisis goes back to 2020: the couple is already struggling when Mateo meets another woman. Home scenes are increasing in frequency and intensity. He leaves the house, comes back, and leaves again… He asks for a divorce, Matilde refuses.
” you are crazy “
In December, a more violent dispute broke out in the apartment. “He grabbed my head and kicked me in the face,” Mathilde told police, without complaining. New March scene: Matthew is in the car with his new driving buddy. They passed another car: his wife and daughter. Mathilde sees red, chases after her husband and mistress, and overtakes their car and repels them. In the middle of the street, it’s a scandal. To calm Mathilde, Mathieu agrees to get in his car and go back to the marital apartment. According to her, when he got to Kritel, he lost his temper, hit her again on the head, pulling her face by her hair. “You’re going to pay me, you crazy.” This time Mathilde makes a complaint. The daughter told police that her father “pushed her on the ground and hit her on the legs and arm.”
In court, the father admits the facts and reveals his account. “In December, I never intended to punch him. She was screaming, I couldn’t take her anymore, I wanted to push her away. I’m sorry I did this in front of my daughter, I will never do it again. I have never threatened my daughter in my life.”
And in March asks the president? “You blocked our way,” continues Mathieu. She was angry. I took my daughter to calm her down. I rode with them in the car. At a red light she was screaming, almost got into a car, had an accident. I slapped him behind the head. I regret it all. He says that after leaving the house, Mathilde asked Anna to call her every day to tell her: “Dad, come home. »
Families the child to the school nurse who reported “anxiety attacks, sleep problems, and attention difficulties. The doctor sets a 10-day ITT for Anaïs.”
tunnel of pain
In the bar the mother cries at the first words and spreads her pain. “When he speaks, he lies, I have known him for 18 years. He has confronted me a thousand times. I was manipulated. It was hell, until we found out about the relationship…” The president refocuses on the facts:
“Why are you leaving this car? You go to call.
– I agree.
Your daughter is not protected. You speak like an adult.
“She’s always been like this. She’s very mature.”
The defense attorney attacks: “You said it was your daughter who wanted to stop the car. That’s not what you’re saying. He just gets more tears for an answer.”
We examine the personality of this pair in turmoil. He works as a municipal administrator, pays the rent for the apartment, and admits to smoking a cigarette a day. “I would quit completely. The mother also works on the night trains. “Are you able to make joint decisions for your daughter? Chief asks Matthew. “Yes, but I think you need a third person.”
“We have to help him.”
Anis’s lawyer supports a well-considered argument. Anis was a victim of violence. Not necessarily slaps, but collisions, especially psychological violence because she was at the center of the feuds, a place she didn’t have to occupy. Today, she wanted to hear from her father that there was violence. No compensation claim is filed.
The mother’s lawyer seeks to underscore the ordeal behind the anger: “She says in front of you: I have three children, I am alone and I need help. You should not be heard as an accused. We must help him. The lawyer lamented the lack of psychological experience, neither for the father nor for the mother.
A 10-month suspended prison sentence is required
The Prosecutor is advancing in the eggshell. I won’t be able to decide on the context. You never know the truth,” she admits. The defendant acknowledged the facts and publicly apologized. “It is very rare.” Requires 10 months suspended and commitment of care, 2,000 euros in compensation.
Cleverly, Mathieu’s lawyer first called the girl: “This session, Mademoiselle will remember her all her life. It would be great if the two adults could take their place. In his defense of the father, he targets the mother.” The master is not a character, a manipulator. Finally, Matteo turns to his daughter: “Excuse me. »
He was released from the violence inflicted on his daughter, but was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence, with the obligation to psychiatric care, to appear at home, to compensate Mathilde up to 1,000 euros. The conviction will not be recorded in the criminal record.
*All names have been changed.