Shaken baby syndrome: the poignant testimony of a Gersoise in a public interest film

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“Shaken babies, unavowable violence” is a documentary that will be broadcast on Public Sénat on January 28, with the testimony of Marie, a Lombézienne.

Directed by Anne Palmowski, and scheduled on Public Sénat at 9 p.m. on January 28, the documentary “Shaken babies, unavowable violence” addresses a sensitive but still too little-known subject. Three mothers testify there and among them, Marie Fonteneau-Morana, originally from Lombez.

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We remember the emotion caused in the Gers by the death of little Rose, a victim at 6 months of violence exerted by her nanny * in June 2018, in the Paris region. “I had promised my little girl to continue and fight so that her death would not be in vain. It took me a while to find my way. Today, I know that I am where I need to be,” says Marie.

The Lombézienne Marie Morana-Fonteneau, here with her husband Renaud and their two daughters Iris and Lila.

The Lombézienne Marie Morana-Fonteneau, here with her husband Renaud and their two daughters Iris and Lila.
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For the young woman, strongly supported by Renaud, the father, it is an honor to have participated in this committed documentary: “I wrote this documentary, confides the director, after having almost shaken my baby, one evening of exhaustion. I then wondered why I stopped before the red line, and why others crossed it. By investigating this subject, I discovered the extent of the scourge and how little known this violence was, “an unfortunate gesture”, when it is real abuse”.

“It remains a real taboo in our society”

The documentary leaves you with a lump in your throat. The confidences throughout the film, from Aude Lafitte, one of the mothers, are poignantly sober. Timothée, her 2-month-old son, died of being shaken too much 3 years ago. She then undertook to denounce by making it better known the syndrome of the shaken baby, with Pauline and Marie. Each year in France, about 500 babies are shaken by the adult in charge of them (70% by the man). 10 to 20% of them will die.

“However, this phenomenon remains a real taboo in our society, and shaken baby syndrome is clearly unknown to the general public, to the justice system, and sometimes even to nursing staff. For many, this violence would result from the exhaustion due to the “unbearable” crying of the infant, an “accident” that could happen to anyone. “The culprit would be the crying of the baby and not the adult. »

Anne Palmowski, with this film, deconstructs all the clichés that weigh on this mistreatment, too little sanctioned by the courts: what is the life of these babies really worth? How to stop this scourge? All questions are addressed in this moving and public interest documentary.

*The nanny was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment by the Val-de-Marne Assize Court in June 2021.