Humiliation, abuse, beating, rape…: “He can laugh when I cry”

A woman dies at the hands of her (former) husband or (former) partner every three days. Only 15% of women victims of domestic violence dare to file a complaint. Some of these statistics are startling. However, they reveal a reality that is right before our eyes. Every day, women are subjected to invisible humiliation, bullying, intimidation, beatings, death threats and rape in their homes. The influence is absolute. Isolated, dehumanized, and guilt-ridden, they wall themselves in silence.

It is this silence that Le Theater Le Public decided to break by giving voice to femicide survivors, grassroots associations, lawyers, therapists and police officers. Goodnight lightsDedicated attention to family and inter-family violence.

With BienVeilleuses, Le Théâtre Le Public draws attention to domestic violence

Killer or victim?

In Assize DiaryOpening ceremony Goodnight lights, Eileen Yeh stars as a criminal defense attorney specializing in the defense of women who are victims of domestic violence, especially those who kill executioner husbands (Jacqueline Savage, Valerie Bagot, etc.). Adapted for the theater by Nathalie Mong, it was adapted from the book of the same name by Janine Bonagiunda.

He describes the progress of an aid experiment at Chalon-sur-Saône. After years of psychological and physical suffering, her client voluntarily and premeditatedly killed her husband. There are five critical days, at the end of which a celebrity jury must decide: Is this woman a murderer or a victim?

Aylin Yay in “Journal d'assises” directed by Michel Kacenelenbogen. ©GAEL MALEUX

Directed by Michel Kacenelenbogen, Aylin Yay immerses the audience in the high-stress daily life of this disenfranchised woman, struggling to make people understand how an abused woman can do the irreparable. From her hotel to the court, her day-to-day, her way of working, “surgery”; its rituals; Different parties to the investigation; Examination of witnesses; Pleadings… until judgment.

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“Unintelligible Wall”

Beneath all these practical, sanctified trappings, Janine Bonagiunda highlights the dysfunctions of the judicial system. “I always feel like I'm hitting an incomprehensible wall”, laments. “Why not open the door of the police station?”, asks the Advocate General in a pointed tone. “You don't know what it's like to live in fear.” Stumbling the accused.

because,”How do you say the unsaid?”, with a lump in her throat, calls Janine Bonagiunda, listing the testimonies of the women she protects: blows from the rolling pin, the frying pan, the deep fryer. Sticks inserted into the genitals; Faces were burned with acid…”He could only laugh when I cried.”, a customer told him. Thrilling. rebellion. In the room, the audience panicked.


How to say the unsaid?

Aileen doesn't indulge in yeh pathos – her performance is clinical and realistic, because the issue is not emotional, but elsewhere: it's a social fight. However, as a woman who is determined that justice should no longer turn a deaf ear to the marital hell that many women experience, we might have expected more faith in her words (of the law) in some places.

→”Journal d'assises” at the Public (Brussels), as part of “BienVeilleuses” until February 17 (until March 23). Information and Res. 02.724.24.44 or at

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