Jacqueline Sauvage, who highlighted domestic violence in France, died at 72

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A French woman who became a symbol of the fight against domestic violence after being imprisoned for killing her violent husband, then pardoned, has died at the age of 72.

Jacqueline Sauvage was sentenced to 10 years in prison for murder in 2012, but was released in December 2016 following an extremely unusual pardon from then-president François Hollande.

She had shot three bullets in the back of her husband Norbert Marot a day after their son hanged himself in 2012, and her case became a rallying point for feminists.

Sauvage testified that she suffered 47 years of violence, including sexual assault, by her husband.

Her three daughters testified against their father, claiming that they were also beaten and raped.

Sauvage’s death has been confirmed by Sylvie, one of his daughters, said the funeral took place last Tuesday.

“Jacqueline Sauvage died as a free woman,” wrote President Emmanuel Macron on Twitter. “She has become a symbol of the fight against violence inflicted on women. ”

According to the local daily La République du Center, which first broke the news, she died on July 23 at her home in La Selle-sur-le-Bied in the Loiret department south of Paris, the same village where she killed her husband.

“I am extremely sad and shocked,” said Nathalie Tomasini, Sauvage’s lawyer.

“Jacqueline Sauvage, through her story and her case, has helped to raise awareness of the existence of women who have been beaten for years behind closed doors within the family in the silence of society”, t she declared.

Sauvage’s murder verdict was upheld on appeal in 2015, and Hollande granted pardon the following year. He “considered that Sauvage’s place was no longer in prison but with his family,” his office said at the time.

The move sparked controversy among some members of the legal profession, who feared that the president had overstepped his authority and undermined the independence of the judiciary.

Feminist groups, celebrities and politicians rallied behind Sauvage, and a petition garnered nearly 436,000 signatures.

French actress Muriel Robin, who played Sauvage in a hit TV movie in 2018, commented after her death that France was not doing enough for battered women.

“We give billions to save our country’s economy, but how can we not find a billion to fight against domestic violence? »She told Europe 1 Radio.

A woman is killed in France every three days by her partner or ex-partner, while domestic violence affects 220,000 French women each year, according to government figures released last year. – AFP



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