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Beaten-up for ending a relationship

Nejma*, 25 years old, Central West Tunisia

Nejma was engaged to a police officer, but the relationship turned sour and she decided to separate. That is when the nightmare began. Abusing the powers of his position as police officer, the ex-fiancé began to threaten and harass Nejma until eventually physically assaulting her with the complicit support of his colleagues.

Nejma is a 25-year-old young woman from Central West Tunisia. She was planning to marry a police officer but the relationship deteriorated and she decided to end it. From then on, her ex-fiancé began to harass her. He followed her down the street, threatened to hurt her and even confiscated her identity papers.

One day in May 2021, Nejma went to the police station where her ex-fiancé works, in order to denounce his acts to his supervisor. But her stalker saw her coming and rushed towards her to assault her. He punched her, tried to strangle her with her veil and to undress her in the street while cursing her. She suffered from bruises and trauma to her neck requiring rehabilitation. The person accompanying Nejma was also punched and kicked. An agent intervened to stop the assault.

The two women went to the hospital and then to another police station to file a complaint. But the officers at the station laughed at them and tried to convince them to give up pressing charges. They eventually notified the ex-fiancé, who arrived shortly thereafter with members of his family and officers from the region’s law enforcement union. The assailant and his union colleagues threatened the two women and told them they would never be able to prove the assault. They even threatened to file a complaint against them, in particular for contempt.

While the two women held strong for a few weeks, they finally withdrew under pressure.