Apparently, domestic violence is not the sole liability of men. In March 2009, a medical examiner from Girac Hospital, in France, treated Maxime, 31 who has arrived the day before to emergencies in critical condition. Swollen face, central cartilage of the nose destroyed, eight phalanges of the hand of ten broken, lacerated skull, broken cartilage on the left ear, hair and beard burned, broken teeth, detachment of the retina of the right eye, nicks, bruises all over his body, etc. The list of injuries led the doctor to prescribe 100 days of ITT (total disability).  One might think that Maxime has been the victim of some violent street gang. Well, it’s not the case at all. These injuries were the result of the abuse of Nadia, his crazy girlfriend.  That’s right folks, Maxime Gaget is a man who was repeatedly physically beaten up by his sweetheart and sexual partner. He recounts his pathetic story in a book untitled “My partner, my executioner,” published at Michalon Press. For over a year, this 37 year old man was regularly bullied, blackmailed and beaten bloody by his girlfriend. Maxime was 29 year old when he first met this girl who would soon become his tormentor. The meeting first happened on the Internet in 2007, he said. Seduced, Maxime rapidly moved to her home in Paris where she was staying with her two kids. Then the trap closed on him almost immediately.  “I was under control like if I was trapped in a cult,” he says. But Maxime is used to be a victim. It’s not the fist time that he let himself being abused like that. He confesses that several years earlier he went through harsh times because of harassment in school. “Throughout my schooling, I was the scapegoat for my classmates, always getting insulted and laughed at,” recognizes Maxime.  This romantic relationship turned sour brought back those harsh memories from his childhood.
How such a strong guy, 1.83 m and 90 pounds, a learned and well educated man, has come to let himself go like that? Good question. Today aged 37, Maxime Gaget is a big introvert. Except for a platonic love, his first love story is Nadia.  The elect of his heart, Nadia, is a little vulgar, she has coarse manners and swear like a sailor. “Mike Tyson with a wig,” he jokes. Still, there is the attraction, inexplicable magnetic.  But unfortunately for him, the girl had an even darker side that was yet to be revealed. Soon Nadia takes up his credit card, identity papers, his computer. “The aggressor has followed the same steps as in cases of battered women: seduction, blackmail, possession of means and social isolation,” he analyzes today.  The first few weeks went on more or less normally, but in December 2007 she asked him to follow her into a room where she was about to beat him up for the first time. He says that he was struck with amazement: “I never imagined that a woman could be so violent. […] I made a mistake by not leaving,” he said retrospectively.  Maxime then mentioned some episodes of “escalation of violence”, marked by beatings, chilled water showers and nights on the ground. “She played on the fact that I am non-violent, he said. She put me against the wall and threatened to file a complaint to the police for pedophilia.”  Gradually, Nadia isolated him from his friends and family, grabbed his assets and emptied his bank account a few months later.  Nadia is a mother of two 11 years old children and Maxime says that he owes them a lot. “At one point she was going to make me drink hydrochloric acid,” he recalls. “Her children were in tears and spoke up to prevent it.” Destabilised, Maxime went into depression and finally lost his job. The love affair then turns to persecution and slavery.  For reasons he cannot explain, Maxime was denying himself the right to retaliate. At some point, to comply with her insane demands, he was even forced to sleep on the floor or in a closet. Disgusted with himself, he gradually found refuge behind a wall of silence.
“I was ashamed. Psychologically, I did not know who I really was or what I was doing there,” he says.  From this point, the violence went from bad to worst. After having his face almost totally ruined, Maxime will undergo eight ear reconstruction operations, and he will get other delicate medical interventions on his nose and his eyes. His ordeal lasted a year until his family came to extract him from his girlfriend’s appartment.  Maxime was between life and death, sequestered in a Parisian apartment. After months of extreme domestic violence, it was Nadia’s brother who alerted Maxime’s family over the phone. “You have to come quickly because he is in danger. I like Maxime, if you want him alive, you must come …” His parents, who hasn’t seen him for over a year, organized “a rescue mission.”  Escorted by the local police, they finally released Maxime from his domestic prison. “A few more weeks of this and I was dead,” he admits.  His parents were amazed at the height of violence he suffered. Immeasurable. His father, Christian, told to him later: “Your face was so swollen that I had a brief moment of questioning your identity. Your voice took away the doubt..”  When he tells his story, Maxime never say her name. The words “executioner”, “torturer”, “adversary” replaced the name of the woman who tortured for nearly a year. 
The one who has become my tormentor managed to create in me a kind of psychosis 
“I wondered how to exorcise all that. The idea of a book came quickly, he told MetroNews.  Maxime hope to rebuild himself through the writing of his book. “I know I’m not the only one. […] Violence is a perverse mechanism where you get used to the unacceptable. I was in such a bad shape, it’s the eyes of other people that caused a shock to me, ” he told Closer Mag.  He hope that his testimony will finally awaken our collective awareness about the subject. “I want my victim status to be recognized,” he said.  As far as she is concerned, the crazy ex-girlfriend will be appearing on April 9 to face justice and answer for her actions. As we can see domestic violence is not the sole liability of the men: Beaten Men SOS Association lists each year 10,000 male victims in France. If a woman dies every three days at the hands of her husband, a man dies every thirteen days under the blows of his companion.   It’s a phenomenon that is still ignored and taboo.