“For the majority of women who are victims of domestic violence (79% of respondents) the brutality continues even after separation,” according to a study conducted in Wallonia-Brussels for the ASBL (Federal Justice Public Service) “Solidarité Femmes” (Solidarity Women) association, Le Soir reported today.
An initial field study in Wallonia-Brussels showed that violence does not stop with the separation, “contrary to what is often conveyed by police professionals and justice,” the criminologist Emmanuelle Melan said.
Melan headed the research on post-separation violence for the association “Solidarité & écoute: Femmes” (Solidarity & listening: Women). “When a violent man realizes that he is losing his grip on the other person, it is an ultimate vexation. All studies show that there is, at that time, an increased risk of a violent act,” she continued.
Harassment is almost constant at the time of the break-up in 9 out of 10 cases. The study also shows that harassing behaviour persists and even increases over time. Furthermore, in the case of legal procedures, 80% of former violent spouses adopt a non-collaborative attitude.
The researcher has identified four common strategies used by them: a threat to lose custody of the children (80%); false allegations and denigration (92%); use of the child to control and trap the mother (89%); an alliance with the child against the mother (92%).