Presidential campaign 2022.
Asked about the increase in violence against people during his five-year term, Emmanuel Macron tempers. ” If the figures of violence against people increase, it is more than 80% intra-family violence ». The candidate finds material to defend his balance sheet, the increase would be a sign that his policy of combating violence against women encourages the freedom of speech: violence yesterday killed find today the filing of a complaint.
Without an active work of prevention, identification of the violence committed and still invisible, such a policy is insufficient. Because we know the difficulties that an adult’s speech can encounter. Can you imagine a child pushing the door of a police station?
Such frequent dramas
There is, in our country, a reservoir of hidden violence among others and against which not much is done, or very little. This ignored violence is that of which children are victims.
However, if there is one population that everyone claims to want to preserve at all costs, it is children. But if there is one population whose respect for the fundamental right to security is regularly flouted, it is also the children.
In 2021, the 119 lists 43,260 children in danger in France. Psychological violence, physical violence, sexual violence.
My brothers and I went through the first two. Not a single one of our childhood memories is exempt from it. One of them will never come back, he will end up dying.
Once apprehended the astonishment, the resentment until the hatred, questions are essential, obsessing. How did we come to this? In the absence of justice, we try to understand.
We discover that on the margins of the world there would be monsters, monsters guilty of excess, violent individuals by essence, rotten fruits. Those responsible for isolated dramas, tragedies which, alas, we could do nothing about and which, however, are repeated again and again.
Abuse kills a child every 5 days. 22% of French acknowledge having been victims. No social class is spared. During the 2020 confinement, hospitalizations of children directly linked to violence increased by 50%.
Faced with the unpleasant recurrence of tragedies presented as isolated, the thesis of the sole responsibility of the author of the violence proves to be unsatisfactory.
Life, in short, is not limited to the microsociety that constitutes the family unit. The family is part of a larger whole, which should guarantee the integrity of all its members.
There is no tolerable violence
Do we really take violence against children seriously?
On November 18, 2020, Alexandre Vincendet was sentenced for violence against her 4-year-old son. The court decision will not prevent him on June 22, 2022 from being elected deputy (LR).
In the verdict of the polls, which bears responsibility for a convicted person for violence against a minor, the idea that this violence is not, in fact, so serious. Once in a while, in a moment of irritation in front of a cheeky child, it happens. They would sometimes be deserved and would even contribute to forging a character, to inculcating a discipline.
What is tolerable violence? The only valid answer is: none. It is up to everyone to remember this relentlessly, and to fight forcefully these stories of tolerated violence compared to others that would be too serious.
Because of the refusal, for example, of the gendarmes to register the complaint of a mother whose the child was slapped by a bus driver, or statements as a political leader, we still consider a slap to be tolerable. A slap, yes, a punch, no. And between the two? When do we switch from tolerable to too much? Perhaps a question of frequency, from one slap per month, one per week? Clearly, no one takes the risk of defining the continuum of violence and the limit between what is tolerable and what is too much.
Too much, on the other hand, is easily identified by its media coverage.
A series of failures
January 2022. The lifeless body ofAnthony Lambert is found. A 17-year-old teenager placed by Childhood Social Aid in a campsite not suitable for receiving him. A child under the responsibility of the State. The defender of rights takes up the case on her own, determined to track down any failures in public services.
September 2022. cases of abuse are discovered in Noyelles-sur-Sens. The first reports date from 2013. Four ministers announced the opening of joint administrative investigations in search of failures.
The media coverage carries its share of mandatory reactions from the political class. Terrible, terrible drama; let’s fix the failures, let’s make sure they don’t happen again.
What failures are we talking about exactly? problems of “coordination and exchange of information”. Social Affairs, National Education, Justice, everyone would have a fragmented knowledge of what is happening but would be unable to work together. One would almost laugh out loud at the absurdity of the fiasco if lives were not threatened.
Once again, faced with the resurgence of tragedies and irreparably associated failures, the story of the exceptional character who says that everything is fine, that all you have to do is identify the seized gear, crumbles.
So, in front, we are indignant, but really committing to children only represents a weak political gain. There is little point in defending them. The children have nothing to offer in return.
And behind, there are the facts of the political decision that lead to the machine going off the rails. The plane applied to the means of school, social work, health, justice, to all the structures that deal with childhood, in addition to the consequences that we know has a cost. When in the hushed intimacy of places of power we decide to sabotage them, in the end, children will suffer, children will die.
“More complicated than that”
To this terrible observation, the politician retorts vehemently. “We can’t let that be said, things are done, it’s more complicated than that”. Notice how the unveiling of a simple causality like “Social damage impacts the most vulnerable first” systematically provokes a call for complexity.
In reality, it is very simple. Take the teaching profession. On the one hand, the mission includes the detection of struggling students. On the other hand, untrained people are recruited in 30 minutes and a Senate report points deterioration of working conditions. Who will first pay the price for this hypocrisy?
One cannot imagine that such decisions are taken without a cold calculation, perfectly lucid as to the effects. Not at that level of responsibility. So we assume. We assume this policy, we assume to take “unpopular but necessary measures”. The formula sounds better than “assuming that children die” it is true.
If the treatment reserved for children from all social backgrounds is edifying, it is representative of the fate reserved for vulnerable populations or populations deprived of means of defence: sick, poor workers, migrants, prisoners, unemployed, dependent elderly people. For lack of means, the professionals in charge devote a little less time to each one, are a little less attentive, a little less vigilant. We must always do more, always quickly, mistreating becomes the norm.
Is this, ultimately, what this policy of abuse prepares children for? To sooner or later be abused or to become, one day, abusive?