The drama took place in the town of Meaux, in Seine-et-Marne. A woman and her four young children were found dead in their apartment on Monday December 25 around 9 p.m., probably killed by the father. How to explain this tragedy? Can we avoid them? TipsForWomens interviewed Dr Jean-Jacques Bonamour du Tartre, psychiatrist and former president of the French Federation of Psychiatry.
It was a terrible tragedy which took place on Christmas Day, Monday December 25 in the evening, in the town of Meaux. In an apartment, a 33-year-old man is suspected of having shot his 35-year-old wife and their four children, aged 10 years, 7 years, 4 years and 9 months. The couple’s mother and two daughters were victims.from a large number of stab wounds“, clarified Jean-Baptiste Bladier, the Meaux prosecutor. As for the little 4-year-old boy and the 9-month-old baby, they did not present “no sores on the body“, the prosecutor mentioning the possibility of “suffocation”.
Domestic violence against a backdrop of psychiatric disorders
According to the first elements revealed to date, the man is suspected of being “psychologically fragile”. Since 2017, he has been monitored for “depressive and psychotic disorders”. He allegedly made several suicide attempts between 2017 and 2019. And that year, he also attacked his partner with a stab in the back. She refused to file a complaint and the case was closed, the man having been considered “mentally deficient” whose “discernment was considered abolished”.
Could this tragedy have been avoided?
When questioned, Dr. Jean-Jacques Bonamour du Tartre immediately recalled “that it is absolutely impossible to anticipate a move into action, of whatever nature it may be.”. For the psychiatrist, the measures taken to monitor psychiatric patients are “probabilistic”. “Generally, the monitoring of these patients works, but unfortunately from time to time, there are things that escape us.” recognizes the doctor.
Should the man have been hospitalized due to his condition?
According to the specialist, it is difficult to do better with the few resources available to psychiatry. “Psychiatry is the poor relation of the public hospital. We lack psychiatrists and resources. We must be able to strengthen this if we want the monitoring of patients to be better carried out.”.
But there will always be flaws, according to the expert. “This would only be a partial solution: even by putting a psychiatrist behind each patient, we would not be able to deal with all situations and it is illusory to think that we could do so.“concludes the doctor.