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The fight of “protective mothers” against the incest of their ex-companions

A 17-year-old minor supports another young woman moved by the testimonies during a public meeting of the Independent Commission on Incest and Sexual Violence Against Children (Ciivise), in Bordeaux, November 19, 2021.

“Can you call me back on Thursday instead?” Because tomorrow at 7 a.m. I will be taken into custody…” The first exchange by SMS with Valérie sets the tone. When this mother from Sarthe (the women who testify, currently in the procedure, requested anonymity) confides to us, a few days later, her story by telephone, she prefers to smile. “The first police custody, I was not far from it. By force, we get used to it. » This is the third time that she has spent several hours at the police station in her town, due to complaints filed by her ex-husband for “non-representation of a child”. Since one of his daughters accused, at the age of 3, her father of having “touched his zouzou” (the term designates her private parts), she refuses to entrust it to him, putting herself in illegality and provoking this response.

Valérie’s story is of course unique, with its particularities and its own family dynamic. But it echoes many stories collected by The world in recent months, from mothers who have lost all faith in institutions after accusations of incest made by their children against their fathers, which backfire. The similarities between these files call out, to the point that the Independent Commission on Incest and Sexual Violence Against Children (Ciivise), which makes its intermediate recommendations on Thursday March 31, had already published a first opinion on October 27, 2021. , alarmed at the fate of these “protective mothers” who came in large numbers to testify to her.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Incest and sexual violence: the recommendations of the Ciivise to better protect minors

Back to Valerie. After five years of union, she separated, in 2018, from the father of her first two daughters, then aged 3 years and 18 months. Year in and year out, an alternating custody operation is then put in place, despite the difficulty shown by her ex-spouse in accepting the separation. “He was following me, harassing me, blackmailing me. I thought it was going to pass. » The nanny who babysits her youngest daughter repeatedly alerts her to “gross negligence in body care when she is with dad”. She also challenges him on the change in behavior of his eldest daughter, whom she knows well and keeps regularly. “She who was so jovial had become very sad”says Valérie, who initially puts this change of mood on the account of the separation.

“Presumption of lie”

A few months later, in the middle of a shower, the eldest daughter blurts out: “Dad slaps me at the level of the zouzou”mimicking the gesture. “My arms are falling off me”, remembers Valérie three and a half years later. The next day, she went to the gendarmerie to file a complaint. “I no longer hand over my daughter to her father, under false pretenses, while waiting for her hearing”which is late in coming. “My daughter kept talking about it at home, I needed a third party, so I called in a child psychologist. » Which confirms that her daughter is very afraid, and that she “put words” unequivocally about what happened to him. “She told him it happened to her because they sleep in the bed with their father, but her sister has diapers. »

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