Internships for perpetrators of domestic violence? Yes, it exists! For the authors of sexist remarks, too.
The judicial control and investigation service (SCJE) dispenses several of these per year, in Draguignan. The latter was created in 2019 in the city of the Dragon, at the request of the public prosecutor.
Karine Looten, lawyer and head of the local office, details the (very) broad scope of her team, made up of three other lawyers as well as a social integration adviser.
Your association is known for its internships…
Especially for the one reserved for perpetrators of domestic violence. We organize about two sessions per month.
How is it going?
People come face-to-face for one day, or post-sentencing over two non-consecutive days. The course is led by a psychologist and a lawyer, for eight to ten people. We go around the table in the morning, then we explain what violence is.
How do the participants react?
They often fall from above. Violence is not only physical… They are also introduced to non-violent communication. At the end, some thank us. They tell us that they have handled certain situations differently. It is rewarding.
Are some coming back?
It happens, although it is very rare. Generally, we don’t do two. Afterwards, we can see some people again for another internship…
There are three, after that for the perpetrators of domestic violence: for parental responsibility, the fight against sexism and the accountability of business leaders. The latter was created at the beginning of 2022. We have not yet set an appointment. Files are slowly arriving.
Are they paying?
The one for perpetrators of domestic violence costs 250 euros. Those for parental responsibility and the fight against sexism, 180 euros. And the last, for the accountability of business leaders, 300 euros. It is possible to pay in several installments. But the dates are assigned only when the last monthly payment is settled.
Your activity does not stop there…
Indeed, we never get bored [rire.] We also carry out all rapid social investigations, requested in the context of referrals for immediate appearance in court. We can also be seized by the judge of freedoms and detention for judicial controls. Or by the investigating judge for personality investigations at home and in remand prison.
What is your role in these cases?
With regard to rapid social investigations, we take stock of the personal situation of the person referred, we verify the information and we make a report for the magistrate. We are working on an emergency…
And for the judicial controls?
We generally receive the person once every fortnight in our three hotlines [les lieux de permanence se situent au sein du tribunal judiciaire de Draguignan, au point de justice de Brignoles et au tribunal de proximité de Fréjus]. Here again, we take stock of the situation. And they are reminded of their inherent control obligations.
Do you sometimes feel insecure in front of certain people?
This has never happened to me, personally. We make people understand that we are not there to judge them. Afterwards, we manage to quickly identify their state of mind.
That’s to say?
The first time we meet someone, we look at their position in the face of the facts. Does the individual deny? Yet another indicator: the care process. Some categorically refuse to be followed by a psychologist and are convinced that they are not “crazy”. While it has nothing to do with madness.
Others, on the contrary, need you…
Those who are evicted from the home, for example. Sometimes they have absolutely no other place to sleep. So we offer them emergency accommodation, which is located at the back of the association’s branch. This furnished studio is allocated on a provisional basis, for one month! And a financial contribution is requested, depending on income.
Do you also work with children?
Since this summer, we have been working in schools from primary to high school as a preventive measure. We discuss various themes such as the dangers of social networks, school bullying or gender equality.
And the parents, in all this?
They are not forgotten either! We organize thematic meetings for them face-to-face at school or by videoconference to provide them with information. We also intervene with them when the family court judge seizes us.
When there is a conflict in the exercise of parenthood. Our goal is to see how things are going with the father and the mother, as well as to make proposals to the magistrate for the terms of custody. But it’s really punctual.