DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – “The police told me: ‘Madam, you have to file a complaint, because afterwards it’s feminicide’”. Two days after posting photos of her swollen face on Instagram revealing that she had been the victim of domestic violence, actress Judith Chemla delivered a moving testimony on the France Inter antenna this Wednesday, July 6.
“I did not premeditate this speech at all, I never imagined showing these photos”, evokes the actress interviewed by Léa Salamé during the morning. But since the many reactions to her first message, Judith Chemla is convinced of the importance of speaking out and telling her story.
“I was flabbergasted”
A year ago, after five years of living together with the father of her daughter, he threw a phone in her face which seriously injured her. “A year ago my face was injured, blue, purple under my eye, I saw myself deformed. A year ago I looked at my face in the mirror and I knew that I could no longer hide my face”, she described on Instagram.
It was that evening that the police called to the Rond-Point theater discovered his bloody face. “The police told me: ‘Madam, you have to file a complaint, because afterwards it’s feminicide'”, remembers Judith Chemla very well. “They had three calls at the same time at that second from female victims of domestic violence.”
However, “I couldn’t tell myself that I was going to file a complaint, I was flabbergasted. I did not see myself filing a complaint against the father of my daughter”. It is finally the next day that she will have “the inner click” to file a complaint.
“Never withdraw a complaint”
“Ladies, don’t be afraid, never withdraw a complaint that you file”, calls today Judith Chemla who says she receives a lot of “messages of support and thanks”. By evoking the domestic violence she has experienced in the media, the actress hopes to be able to give back “the courage to resume the fight” to other female victims. “The fight is to lodge a complaint”.
“It is essential to file a complaint”, reacted in the wake of the Minister Delegate for Equality between Women and Men Isabelle Rome. Thanking Judith Chemla for her “poignant testimony”, the Minister reminded all victims of violence of the emergency numbers: 17, 3919, or 114 by SMS.
Nearly 220,000 women report being subjected to violence each year, but only 18% of them file a complaint. In 2021, 113 women died under the blows of their spouse or ex-spouse.
The man she accuses, whose name she never mentions, was sentenced to “a suspended sentence of 8 months in prison”, she assures but “continues to think that he is a victim”. “I wanted to give him a chance as a father, as a man, as an artist. He screwed up these chances one after the other”, continues the actress seen in particular in Camille Redouble in 2012.
Today, Judith Chemla’s fight is also to protect “the thought, the moral integrity” of her daughter, a collateral victim of this violence. “Me one day if someone hurts me, I will not ask justice to protect me,” the 5-year-old recently told him. “I will fight so that she knows that she has to protect herself and thus protect other women. And him that he understands that if he does not change, his daughter will be a consenting battered woman”, concludes the actress with force.
See also on The HuffPost: Against domestic violence, an emergency number reachable by SMS