At the moment I don’t have clients victimized by domestic violence in my practice in Paris. So going to the 2nd Annual International Forum on Domestic Violence recently came out of a longstanding want to better understand one of the worst types of relationship outcomes and life situation traps, that a poor woman and a man (to be pitied until the day comes when he stops all forms of abuse) could possibly encounter. It is true I wanted to learn what a woman in a mixed couple with a Frenchman, the most probable instance here in the Anglophone community, might face in the way of exit challenges. But as a child who knew domestic violence in my own home growing up, I admit to wanting new sensitivities to any dimension of the embodied ‘separation’ pain and reflection, that a woman contemplating leaving the man they had children with and to whom they once may have pledged their lives, including the brutal reality of starting over from scratch, encounters.
This is what I left with in terms of list of vigilance for women here in France :
– realize and connect with « what is going on »
– generate possible responses and choices
– safety plan including organizing the protection for the kids
– log the « proof » with visits to doctors, etc., ensuring the story has ‘punctuation and accumulation’
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA