Paralysed by violent partner, woman found 'partly responsible' by French court

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By Pauline Bock  with AFP
Paralysed by violent partner, woman found 'partly responsible' by French court
Copyright  REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

A French woman has been found "partly responsible" by a French court after she was paralysed from the waist down by her violent partner. The judge ruled that her compensation should be reduced because of this partial blame.

The 31-year-old woman from Le Mans, central France, referred to by the AFP as "Aida", was left paraplegic after being thrown out of a second-floor window by her partner, who has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. 

The Commission for the Compensation of Victims of Infractions, a French government organisation that handles compensation for victims of civil offences, ruled that she was "partly responsible" because she went home to her violent partner on the night of the attack, August 24, 2013.

Police intervened at the couple's home because Aida's partner had been violent with a friend, who advised her to find somewhere else to spend the night. As it was too late to take a train to go and stay with her family, the woman texted friends and called France's 115 number — used for social emergencies — but ultimately could not find a place to spend the night and decided to go home.

Aida, who was 25 at the time, "suffered regular violence from her partner, which had not led to hospitalisation", her lawyer, Mathias Jarry, told the AFP, adding that "he had not assaulted her" earlier that night.

After police left, the man assaulted Aida, and police were called back by neighbours. At 3.30 am the 25-year-old was found by police officers, unconscious and with facial injuries, at the entrance of her building after her partner threw her out of the window.

A ruling on the case from June 2016 fixed the victim's compensation at €90,000, after which Aida's lawyers requested for the Commission to process the payment, but it decided only to grant part of the total amount.

"They consider that the responsibility is shared and that our client committed a civil fault by going back to her home," Jarry told the AFP.

Her legal team has appealed and an audience will be held with the Commission in May 2019.