Mouvement pour l'Égalité entre les Femmes et les Hommes


A definition of forced suicide

Repeated psychological violence (lies, sarcasm, contempt, humiliation, denigration, insults, isolation, state of financial dependence, harassment, threats, etc.) places continuous psychological pressure on the victim. It is nothing more and nothing less than the process of control. Indeed, it is not a question of a one-off slippage but of the installation and maintenance of a mode of relationship. The goals pursued by the aggressor are to destabilize, injure, but also to dominate and submit. Indeed, inequalities, domination, control are at the base of the iceberg of all violence. Furthermore, psychological violence is the basis of all other violence.

Physical violence would not actually be accepted without psychological violence; on the contrary, it sets in when the victim’s psychological resistance has given way, when the situation of domination is already established. If there is physical violence, there is control. Physical violence only increases its scale through a greater effect of astonishment, making the victim even more imprisoned.

Psychological violence therefore, even without physical violence, alters the critical judgment and free will of the victim, to the point that she comes to the point of being unable to name what she experiences, to say what she tolerates or not. The control induces a colonization by the perpetrator of all areas of the victim’s life – self-esteem, entourage, money, etc. – to the point of loss of the feeling of dignity, and these are indeed the objectives of the aggressor, who wants to dominate everything, control everything. The outcome of this violence is indeed the moral destruction of a being. The psychological after-effects are numerous: post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, sexual disorders, sleep disorders, eating disorders, self-mutilation, chronic pain, psychosis, substance abuse, risky sexual behavior, suicide. Suicide is therefore the most extreme psycho-traumatic consequence, at the same time as it constitutes the culmination of the process of domination (to the point of annihilation), as well as an escape from the mental prison established by perpetrator of the violence. The consequences of psychological violence are therefore less visible than those of physical violence, yet they constitute serious after-effects, indelible marks.

It is in a state of extreme inner terror that the victim finds the courage to call for help (complaints, requests to those around them, etc.). Unfortunately, often appearing very disturbed, her credibility may be doubted, and her appeals may not be heard. In addition, the state of subjection into which she is plunged by the aggressor is generally poorly understood.

Indeed, the mechanisms of violence are little known. For example, it is quickly forgotten that a complaint generally only constitutes a particular scene, when it is a whole story of violence that it tells. What differentiates violence between partners from couple conflict is asymmetry; because domination is the issue of all violence.

Thus, forced suicide is the name given to the case where a victim of psychological violence kills themselves, as a consequence of their suffering, as the only apparent way out of the influence in which they find themselves, and as the outcome of a process of domination.

Violence sometimes leads to murder, even if physical death is not the conscious goal of the aggressor since the victim serves him, suicide is another form of femicide.

As in France where suicide is recognized as an aggravating circumstance of moral harassment, it is necessary to recognize suicide as a consequence of violence, and the responsibility of the perpetrators.

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