domestic violence also affects young people

Forty times, the young woman of 18 has opened and then closed the site of the association En avant tout (s). Before deciding, one morning in October, to click on the chat at the bottom of the page, and to write down your doubts: “I wonder about my relationship and I can’t really tell my friends about it. “

On the other side of the screen, the professionals of the association know how to identify the alerts in these tense poles. Installed in a former school near the Luxembourg Gardens, in Paris, they welcome, on this chat dedicated to violence in couples, the words of young people come to confide, often for the first time, about the abuses that they live.

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The phenomenon of violence that interferes in adolescent and young adult couples has long escaped all radar. The last major sociological study on this subject (the national survey on violence against women in France, Enveff) dates back to 2000: we learned that young women between the ages of 20 and 24 more frequently declare having been victims of violence. conjugal (15% over the previous twelve months) than all women (10%).

In October, the Minister Delegate in charge of equality between women and men, Elisabeth Moreno, announced the creation of specific reception centers for young women victims – to date, only a dedicated center exists in France, in Seine-Saint-Denis.

An imaginary of the particular couple

On the chat En avant tout (s), called “How we love each other”, more than 3,000 anonymous and free exchanges have been carried out since the start of 2021 – almost exclusively with women, mostly aged 18 to 24, and around 15% of minors. Most testify to acts of violence in their couples. “They rarely come in saying ‘someone hits me’ or ‘they rape me’. They do not immediately raise the word violence, let it be understood as a hint “, Pointe Morgane Le Cloirec, seasoned “chatteuse” of the association, who pulls the thread at their own pace.

That day, the one we will call Margaux, evokes the pressures of her boyfriend, with whom she has been dating since she was 16, to accept sex. Her insistence, then her brutality when she refuses. “He tells me it didn’t work that way with his exes, that I have less libido. I end up telling myself that I have a problem and giving in. ” In the rest of the relationship? All is well, answers Margaux first. “But I have the impression that if I don’t do things the way he wants, it is a concern. ” To avoid her anger, she no longer goes out, has moved away from her friends. “I know jealousy is normal, but sometimes it makes me sad”, she slips.

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