Diane and Audre's story: last extract from the book on domestic violence
This is the story of Diane, an 8 year old girl, her mother Audre and her brother Hector, 3 years old. I made the comics as part of an illustrated book commissioned by Paroles de Femmes - Le Relais 77, a women's refuge outside Paris, France. The book is titled "La violence masculine dans le couple: comprendre et en sortir", which means "male partner violence: understanding and exiting". It's available on Amazon Kindle.
It is a fictional story based on real life experiences of victims of abuse: the content was written with a team of victims supported by the refuge, as well as professionals and partners who worked for the refuge. We wanted to include a story that showed the current challenges women face when leaving an abusive partner when they have children together, and how that affects the children. Men's rights activists have effectively made it very difficult for women in France to obtain exclusive custody when escaping an abusive partner and/or trying to protect the children from the father. According to the refuge I worked with, it is unfortunately common for the father to be given a restraining order for the safety of the mother by the judge of family affairs, while being given shared custody for the children, including the right to pick the children up at the mother's house. We also wanted to show some common reactions of untrained professionals (doctors, police) when confronted with victims/concerned mothers seeking help.