|You can’t keep living like this, ma’am...|
C. helps her son with his homework in one of the common areas at the La Louvière shelter. The victim of multiple forms of severe, frequent abuse by her husband, she decided to come to the shelter for fear of having her children placed in foster care. Her kids, who are being monitored by child protective services, are unsettled by their experience, by the violence suffered and the emotional blackmail applied by their father since their arrival at the shelter. One of them regularly soils the bed. C. left the shelter in February 2011, although her problems did not appear to have been completely resolved.
The La Louvière center has a total of 24 beds. Half of these beds are usually occupied by children. A number of welfare educators from the association have been trained to support and counsel them: “Children exposed to spousal abuse are even more helpless than their mothers and have their own ways of protecting themselves. They are torn between two types of love and are often forced to take sides: we have seen that violent men almost always instrumentalize their children, using emotional blackmail, because that is a part of their pattern of domination. These children are victims, but what they undergo and feel is very specific,” explains Josiane Coruzzi, director of Solidarité Femmes et Refuge pour Femmes Battues.
December 9, 2010 – La Louvière – Belgium.
© Pierre-Yves GINET
|Reference : 20-Belgique|
Photograph 17 of 48
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