When a honeymoon turns into a nightmare – Le Droit

When a honeymoon turns into a nightmare – Le Droit

That's all.

“A man can abuse his wife however he wants.”

Sophie* learned this the hard way, having been in a relationship for several years with a narcissistic pervert who exercised almost total control over her, without her even realizing the extent of it. “Narcissistic perverts make things happen quickly. We met on March 1st and May 1st and he moved in with me. It was the time when regions were closed and we were afraid we wouldn’t be able to see each other anymore.”

She was pregnant in August.

Sophie was unaware at the time how toxic their relationship was and that she had fallen into the clutches of a manipulative, controlling man. “After the baby was born, the tension increased. He felt neglected and this increased his control.” Sophie lived in a situation of coercive control, a form of domestic violence carried out through constant surveillance, through almost complete control over the other.

“A year ago I didn’t even know what that meant. He exercised psychological control over me, financial control. But I was prejudiced against abused women, I thought it was just physical violence. He threw things but not at us, he broke down walls… for me it wasn't domestic violence.”

And yet.

Then Sophie had what she thought was a good idea. “I told him, ‘I’m offering us a nice week for ourselves,’ at my own expense, of course. I told myself that after all the deliveries we had experienced, it would be good for us to have a vacation with him, me and the baby. I even told myself that it would be like a honeymoon for us.

As soon as they entered the all-inclusive hotel in Cuba, the honey turned sour. “As soon as he arrived he didn't like the room, he constantly criticized it. He often disappeared, he left me alone with the baby, I didn't know where he was. At one point he said to me, “When I see you with the baby, I push myself.”

One evening, quite early in the morning, he had not yet returned to the room. “I was waiting for this, I was tired of it. He came back in a very drunk state and when I started talking he put his headphones on and went to bed. And there I took off a pair of headphones and told him “I'm not finished yet” and that provoked him…”

He threw her on the bed, then against the wall, holding her like a vice. “I am very small and he is very strong and very robust. I managed to free myself from his grasp, I ran away with the baby, completely naked under my jacket, it was running for my life! I went to the front desk, explained the situation to them as best I could with my Spanish, and said, “I need help.”

The only thing she was offered was to put a security guard outside the room so she had to go back. “I was terrified, I didn't know what condition I would find him in. When I arrived, he was showered and dressed and asked, 'Where are the police?' To calm him down, I told him I was keeping it in-house.”

Do you know what he did? “He asked me to apologize for causing him stress and for fearing arrest. I have apologized…”

Two days later, a minor disagreement escalated on the beach. “He exploded with anger, he went with it [l’enfant]He barricaded himself in the bedroom and blocked the door with furniture.” She managed to call a maid and when her partner saw that there was now a witness at the crime scene, “he packed up the furniture.”

But as soon as the door opened, he jumped out. “He grabbed my bag so hard it caused a tourniquet, he took my phone and pinned my knee. When I realized I was witnessing a second altercation, I let out a desperate scream that I couldn't reproduce. Security came, they saw the bruises…”

Then? Nothing.

Desperate for a solution, Sophie visited the representative of the tour operator from whom she had purchased the package. “He told me, 'You're annoying everyone with your relationship problems, we can throw all three of you out if this continues.' “Keep a low profile for the rest of the week, be responsible parents, you will solve your problems in Quebec.”

She went back to the hotel to change rooms for the last three nights. “There were no other rooms available, but they offered to change hotels for $450. I said “Yes, that’s for sure!”, but I needed the father’s permission…”

He refused.

Sophie was stuck there and had to walk on eggshells for the rest of the journey. To protect herself, she sent “audio recordings and photos of the injuries to a friend.”

Back in Quebec, her partner managed to persuade her to give him another chance. He failed and fell back into consumption. She gave him a choice: either he goes or she goes with the child. “He told me it was a kidnapping and that he could call 911. I told him, 'Okay, call the police.'” He did. “Two police tanks arrived, I told them everything about Cuba, they arrested him. I was shocked…”

But at least, she told herself, he would have to face the authorities.

Well no. There she learned that the Canadian justice system had no influence. “I was told that we cannot bring charges for what happened in Cuba, only for sex crimes against children. But the prosecutor can't accept that he won't get away with anything.

“They came to my house, saw two holes in the wall and asked me who did it. It was him… I didn't even know it was illegal.” He couldn't be charged with assault and death threats, but was instead accused of public infidelity. “At least it was.”

She complained to the tour operator about the lack of support from the local agent, to say the least. He was blamed.

Since then, Sophie has been given sole custody of her child and “the day before the criminal trial he pleaded guilty after 14 months of stress.” He had problems for two years, that's all. I find it reductive compared to what happened. And luckily I had the resources to fight.”

It leaves a bitter taste. “When you're there, they tell you, 'Wait in Quebec to solve the problem,' and in Quebec they tell you, 'You should have solved it there.'” The IVAC (Compensation for Victims of Crime) recognizes , that I am a victim, but he is not recognized as a criminal. If I had been beaten at home it would have been fine, but now no.”

He didn't suffer the consequences of his actions, she did. She has been unable to work for a year and a half and has to deal with her trauma.

She wants that to change. “Maybe there are people who know they have immunity and are taking advantage of it. A change must begin. Quebec's laws must apply so that we can protect children and mothers. I don't know how complicated it is to change the law, but with all the femicides that are going on…”

“I was lucky enough to only come back with bruises. I want to prevent others from going through this.”

So that the all-inclusive is no longer all-inclusive.

*Fictitious first name

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