Derogatory or suspicious remarks, lack of empathy: women are still too often unwelcome when they file a complaint for domestic violence or rape, denounce activists, but the government emphasizes that the situation is improving thanks to the training provided. place for police and gendarmes.
The problem had already been raised two years ago during the "Grenelle" against domestic violence.
It has resurfaced since the end of September, with the multiplication of testimonials posted on social networks under the hashtag #DoublePeine.
"The women arrive traumatized at the police station to file a complaint and given the behavior of some police officers, they leave doubly traumatized", summarizes the feminist activist Anna Toumazoff who claims to have collected thousands of testimonies in a few days.
90,000 police officers trained to better receive victims
Several of them implicated the central police station of Montpellier, where "we ask the victims of rape if they have enjoyed" and where "we explain to them that a person who has been drinking is necessarily consenting", denounces Anna Toumazoff. The prefect of Hérault, Hugues Moutouh, rose up against these accusations, qualifying them as "defamatory" and "slanderous". But the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin announced on Tuesday that he had requested an investigation into “what had happened” at the Central Directorate of Public Security.
Since the "Grenelle", some 90,000 police and gendarmes have received training to better receive victims, and as a result "there has been a huge improvement in reception," said the minister.
But things can still "certainly" be improved, he conceded before a parliamentary committee.
Too much experimentation, not enough improvement
Gérald Darmanin also announced that, in the event that the female victim was "afraid" of going to the police station, a device would soon be tested to allow the police to travel to collect her complaint elsewhere, for example at a friend where she would have found refuge.
"It's time to stop experimenting," responded the feminist collective #NousToutes.
“Women victims say they are not well received in police stations and gendarmeries.
Gérald Darmanin answers them: good news, you could also be badly received at the town hall or at a friend's house!
"The association mocked.
" There's still much to do "
On the doublepeine.fr site, women victims of domestic violence tell of being told by a gendarme that it was "not very glorious on their part" to have left their violent companion or that the officials could hardly have them. help to take shelter because “they were not social workers”. "It's true, the reception is not always at the top, there is still a lot to do," concedes Fabienne Boulard, a police officer at the forefront of this issue, who trains her colleagues to improve their practices.
However, "I have been in the police force for 30 years and I can tell you that things are changing, frankly," adds the official.
We ask the police, "who have not done five years of psychology studies, to understand in ten minutes the phenomena of influence that have lasted for years," she notes.
But "even if there is only one badly received victim left, it is not normal, so we must continue to train," she adds.
A mandatory lawyer?
For the filing of a complaint to go as smoothly as possible, the presence of a lawyer alongside the victim can also be a decisive advantage.
However, some police officers hide behind an ambiguity of the law to refuse it, observe Karen Noblinski and Rachel-Flore Pardo, two Parisian lawyers who, with a hundred colleagues, have launched an appeal for the law to be amended.
The lawyer can provide his client with psychological help, "essential when we reveal such an intimate sphere of his history", but also "ask questions which will lead the victim to clarify important points", which can be decisive in obtaining then the conviction of the aggressor, argues Me Pardo.
The Minister responsible for Gender Equality, Elisabeth Moreno, said she was "in favor" of this effective right being guaranteed in law.
"It is a subject on which we must probably work," said the minister, for whom the victims must be "reassured, accompanied, assisted when filing a complaint if they need it".
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