Mouvement pour l'Égalité entre les Femmes et les Hommes


Mélissa Perrot

For the first time, all actors in the criminal justice chain recognized a causal link between the moral harassment suffered and suicide.

Mélissa is a young woman full of life, simple, authentic, pure, ingenuous, when she meets J. Her psychologist says of her that she was very sensitive to injustice, to criticism, that she had a capacity to feel enormous guilt, without any suicidal tendency. J. for his part, is described as a possessive, jealous, authoritarian man, with a habit of belittling, humiliating and threatening. Their relationship will last 5 months. In 2016, Mélissa, then 23 years old, committed suicide by jumping from the second floor of a building.

This relationship, which will last barely 5 months, will be a dazzling descent into hell for Mélissa whose change in behavior will be noted by everyone around her: isolated, she no longer goes out with her friends, rarely sees her family, even abandoning her professional project, emaciated, losing her joy of living.

To escape from this mental prison in which J. had locked her up for five months, suicide, death, will be for Mélissa the only solution to escape from this hell, and perhaps even the last of her freedoms. This is precisely what forced suicide is.

And it is exactly this process that has been perfectly demonstrated, characterized by the entire criminal chain. The order for reference is exemplary in this respect, in that it clearly establishes the direct causal link between the moral harassment suffered by Mélissa and her suicide :

J. admitted that he knew that Mélissa was fragile. He could not ignore the influence he had over her. This influence and the real denigration enterprise implemented by J. throughout the five months of their relationship reached its climax on the night of February 11 to 12 and the morning of February 12 with an exchange of text messages including insults and threats of extreme violence, the latter pushing his perversity to the point of trying to make her believe that he could attempt suicide because of her by cutting his index finger and wrist. The fact of then rejecting her and refusing to speak with her even though she had come to his home to be able to discuss with him led Mélissa, who was clearly already at that moment in a very fragile psychological state given the messages violence to which she was the recipient, to her fatal gesture.

It results from these findings that J.’s repeated actions, characterized throughout his five-month relationship with Mélissa by initially denigrating and guilt-inducing remarks then violent and insulting towards her, resulted in a progressive deterioration of living conditions of the latter, and finally pushed him to end his life.

The final indictment is unequivocal :

Furthermore, if the act of suicide is proven, which the instruction does not contradict, the incapacity is necessarily greater than 8 days since the harassment led Mélissa to suicide.

It is completely unprecedented for a man to be tried for moral harassment having caused an ITT (temporary total incapacity for work) of more than 8 days, even though the victim died. 

When language becomes violence, it too can lead to death. And this is what this referral of J.W to the criminal court meant since it became very clear that the harassment suffered by Mélissa was the direct cause of her suicide.

Mélissa’s former companion was released on June 26, 2020 by the Chambéry Criminal Court. The judges ruled that there was no certain link between the harassment suffered by the young woman and her suicide in 2016, going against the requisitions of the prosecution which appealed