Updated: June 23, 202117:00
In France, a woman is on trial for killing her husband and rapist. You face a life sentence, but many people show solidarity with her.
Chalon-sur-Saône – He is said to have repeatedly raped her and forced her into prostitution – then she killed him five years ago. Valérie Bacot, now 40 years old, has been on trial in Chalon-sur-Saône in eastern France since Monday (June 21). You face a life sentence. At the start of the trial, the woman spoke of an “extreme hell” that she had been through since she was twelve, as reported by the AFP news agency.
France: wife kills husband and rapist – “I had to stop”
According to his own accounts, Bacot had been abused by her husband Daniel Polette for decades. Her mother’s lover at the time raped her when she was 12 years old. He was sentenced and sent to prison, but returned to the family. At 17 she became pregnant and was forced to marry her tormentor, who was 25 years older than her mother, repudiated by her own mother.
“I had to end it,” wrote Bacot in a recently published book in France entitled “Tout le monde savait” (“Everyone Knew It”). In March 2016, she said she couldn’t take it anymore. As the woman said in court, her husband was violent, threatened her with a gun and forced her into prostitution. Ultimately, she killed him with a shot in the neck to protect her daughter.
France: Online petition with more than 600,000 signatures calls for acquittal
Bacot is now facing life imprisonment. Your lawyers, however, are demanding an acquittal. The woman “experienced extreme violence for 25 years,” said her lawyer, according to AFP. “That can drive a desperate woman to kill in order to survive.” In an online petition entitled “Freedom for Valérie Bacot!”, More than 600,000 people have already demanded an acquittal for the tormented defendant. The process should continue until Friday.
The terrifying case is regularly mentioned in France in the same breath as Jacqueline Sauvage, who is a symbol of domestic violence victims. After 47 years of marriage, she killed her abusive husband with three gunshots in the back in September 2012. The woman and her three daughters subsequently reported that the man had abused them for years. Her case sparked heated debates and protests. She was convicted and finally pardoned by then President François Hollande. (afp / dpa)