A hint of mischief in the eyes and a wide smile revealing happy teeth. There is no doubt that Ernestine Ronai’s joyful face contrasts with the violence she has encountered for forty years. From teacher to knight of the Legion of Honor, via educational psychologist, she has led a thousand lives: general secretary of Femmes solidaires, creator of the first Observatory of violence against women, in Seine-Saint-Denis, coordinator of the interministerial mission for the protection of women against violence and the fight against human trafficking.
At 76 years old, this well-rounded CV does not keep him from the field, on the contrary. “I’m not tired! The testimonies are sometimes horrible, but my listening is useful, because it contributes to a movement at work in society.”
Since 2021, its expertise has been at the service of the Ciivise formed three years ago. What link is there between this commission of inquiry for the protection of children and women? “Protecting the mother means protecting the child”: the answer is sober, the analysis points to the systemic effect. “A man who is violent with his wife, in half the cases, is also violent with his children,” says Ernestine Ronai, between two sips of hot chocolate.
Bringing together skills
In a serious tone, she continues: “If I had known everything I know today when I was a school psychologist, my practice would have been completely different. I think of all the children for whom I missed out.. .” An activist from the start, she is delighted with the convergence of skills made possible by Ciivise: lawyers, child welfare, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers, all work together in order to understand the mechanisms which each year in France lead 160,000 children to suffer sexual violence. Everyone wants to send this message to the victims: “We believe you”.
The numbers are there and the taboo is cracking. From now on, like all the members of the commission, Ernestine Ronai wishes to continue the fight, train professionals to spot violence, systematize the protection of children, develop psycho-traumatic care. The government is committed to extending the Civil Service after the end of the mission scheduled for December 31, 2023. The only way for victims to move from wounds to scars.