THE ABUSE EPIDEMIC HIDING IN IDYLLIC FRENCH TOWNS par LAURÈNE DAYCARD
With more stories of female harassment and #MeToo initiatives emerging daily, International Women’s Day feels even more impactful this year. Here, in collaboration with our partner CHIME FOR CHANGE, is a look at yet another atrocity that is swept under the rug: physical abuse culminating in murder.
Every three days In France, a woman is killed by her husband or ex-husband. Miscellaneous news articles are published in the media. Flashy headlines but little content as the press rarely investigates the nature of these violent acts. Over the course of almost a year, the French reporter Laurène Daycard have been looking back on the life of one of the 123 women that disappeared in 2016. By telling Géraldine Sohier’s story, killed on October 12, 2016 by her ex-husband, Laurène Daycard wanted to give a face and a voice to the many victims of femicide in France.
When someone dies, we like to tell stories about how wonderful a person was. In Géraldine Sohier’s case, her loved ones talk about a “bubbly, generous and funny” woman, “someone who brought joy to every occasion” and “only saw the good in people.” On October 12 at 5 pm, Géraldine’s soon to be ex-husband, Éric Gallois suddenly showed up at her work place. He had a shotgun which he emptied on her. Their 10-year-old daughter was on the scene. Right before committing suicide, Gallois told the girl, “The gun is not for you, it’s only for grown-ups” while her mother was covered in blood. The little girl, now an orphan, was hospitalized for 8 days.
“My mother wasn’t happy but she always wanted to make everyone else happy.”