In full separation after being the victim of domestic violence, Pauline denounced the sexual violence of her ex-husband on their 3-year-old daughter. But since then, she has lost custody of her child, now placed in foster care.
Pauline called RMC for help. Her journey is that of thousands of other women, victims of domestic violence. An abusive husband, a filing of a complaint that does not succeed, a complicated separation. And in the middle, a little girl, Louise, now 3 years old, whom Pauline had looked after until then.
In January, their life changes. The nursery alerts the mother: the behavior of Louise, terrified at the time of the change, worries them. When questioned, the child denounces her father.
Pauline files a complaint for sexual violence and seeks the help of social services, which launch an investigation and recommend the placement of the child. Recommendation followed by the judge. On May 24, Louise was torn from her mother.
“The social worker talks about a parental conflict, we can’t come to an agreement. I don’t know how I should have done not to be in the conflict. I shouldn’t have believed my daughter I am punished for having tried to protect her, I never imagined it would come to this,” explains Pauline.
For four months, the little girl has been wandering from foster family to foster family. His mother couldn’t even take him to school for his first start. And the weekly visits are a heartbreak.
“She looked at me, she said ‘no’ and she started crying, she said ‘no don’t leave’. She was crying, she didn’t want to let go of me, she had to be taken by someone and I had to leave and leave her in tears. Afterwards, I collapse and I only have to wait two weeks to be able to see her again for an hour. Which makes me the most the hard part is when I put myself in my daughter’s shoes and imagine how she must feel,” laments Pauline.
How to explain such a decision?
“RMC is committed to you” investigated, consulted all expert reports, court decisions, hearing minutes. It appears from the placement order that “Louise appears to be manipulated by her parents and used in the parental conflict”.
And we discovered that the case of Pauline and Louise is not isolated. 300 mothers, thus deprived of their child in similar conditions, have come forward to the Ciivise, the commission on incest, launched by the government a year and a half ago. So many cases which, according to its experts, reveal the difficulty of taking children’s voices seriously.
Pauline’s lawyer, Me Rongier, is calling for an overhaul of the child protection system.
“There is a need to have specialized courts that understand domestic violence, post-separation violence, that we no longer leave these decisions to stakeholders who are not trained in all that. There is a need more appeals too. A child under the age of 3 who is placed and telling herself that the only thing we can do is appeal and have a decision four months later, it is insufficient”, laments she.
Appeal hearing on September 23
The placement of Louise is a judicial decision and therefore independent. His mother appealed, the hearing is scheduled for September 23. On this occasion, a support rally in front of the Orleans court will bring together several child protection associations.
RMC asked the actors who intervene upstream of the judge. “We have full confidence in our Childhood Social Assistance agents,” replied the Loiret department. The cabinet of Charlotte Caubel, the Secretary of State in charge of Children, assured us that she would follow the situation with the greatest attention.
In addition, the Minister of Justice Eric Dupont-Moretti will communicate on this subject, at the end of September.