663,000 women get beaten by their men each year in France

In two weeks – on Friday November 25 – it will be the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. A French publisher – Michalon – has just published a book here in Paris as its contribution to this day. The book – Il y avait un monster en moi – is written […]

In two weeks – on Friday November 25 – it will be the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

A French publisher – Michalon – has just published a book here in Paris as its contribution to this day.

The book – Il y avait un monster en moi – is written by a wife beater – former wife beater if he is to be believed.  The title in English will translate as There was a Monster in Me, or maybe The Monster who lived in Me. Its cover price is $17. ($24 / £15)

The man’s name is Frédéric Matwies. He’s 44 and looks like he will give up his seat to old ladies and pregnant women in the Metro (Paris’s underground rail system) and on a bus. In other words he looks like a nice guy.

Monsieur Matwies beat his common-law wife Sabrina, mother of his now two teenage daughters unrelentingly.  He even forced her to eat rabbit excrement.  And he burned her in the thighs with cigarette butts. This went on for 10 years, their daughters witnessing his cruelty. And I must point out that this is no uneducated man, but an industrialist.

“If Sabrina had gone to the police to lay a charge against me, I would have killed her,” he now says.

He grew up, he claims, in a home with a violent father. He speaks of how he had once seen his father smash his fist through the glass panel in the door of their kitchen.

Eventually Monsieur Matwies sought counsel and listening to other wife beaters recounting their behavior in group therapy sessions, he realized just how terrible it was.

Sabrina struggled with bulimia and depression and eventually left Matwies. “I am healing” she now says. She has however remained on friendly terms with him and even assisted him with the writing of his book. Each Sunday the two and their daughters meet up.

Here are some alarming statistics for France:

663,000 women were victims of domestic violence in 2010.

110,000 men were also victims of domestic violence in 2010.

80% of victims do not lay a charge against the aggressor.

Every week 3 women die under the blows of a man – a spouse or lover.

A third of those killer men had restraining orders against them.

There are 30 centers in the country where men who beat their women can call on for counsel.

Before I go, one more thing. I have not bought this man’s book and will not do so. I will not give him the pleasure of the 12% royalties he will receive from the cover price of his book. I will rather burn the money.

 

 

 

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

3 Responses

11-11-2011 at 09:57:06

It’s sad that most victims can’t break away and stay with their abuser.

I’m with you on not buying this book Marilyn.

11-11-2011 at 14:15:05

Pretty frightening statistics Marilyn. Are these figures proportionately higher than other western countries?

No, I wouldn’t buy the book either, unless I knew his wife was getting the royalties.

11-12-2011 at 21:12:55

ciesze sie że cię znaleźliśmy

polska

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