Tackling domestic violence: ‘If you ask the right questions at the right time, you will save lives’

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With one of Europe’s highest domestic violence rates, France has a dismal record when it comes to listening to the victims of abuse and affording them protection. As it prepares to unveil measures to end the scourge, the French government is under intense pressure to set the record straight.

For years, Julie Douib endured her partner’s abuse in silence, quietly putting up with the regular beatings, threats and ritual humiliations in an increasingly desperate bid to protect herself and her two children.

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When Douib finally mustered the strength to break up with her tormentor, he vowed to kill her, disfigure her and make her life a misery. She reported him to the police, several times, and pressed charges – to no avail. Adding insult to injury, a judge gave her estranged partner custody of the children pending an investigation by social workers.

“She told the police he had a gun,” her mother adds. “At one point she asked them, ‘Does he have to kill me for you to take me seriously?’”

On March 3, Douib’s former partner walked up to her apartment in Corsica and shot her twice, first in the arm and then in the chest as she sought to flee.
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It is a long article, please read at France 24

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Part-time despot and Dutch mini-pancake connoisseur. Has been known to play a musical instrument or two, much to the chagrin of people and pets around him.