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Jacqueline Sauvage, a 68 year old grandmother of 11, was married to Norbert Marot for 47 years when she shot him in the back, killing him on the terrace of the house they built together. But there’s more to the story: Since their teenage marriage, he constantly abused her for 47 years.

Mr. Marot cut off all relations between Ms. Sauvage and her family. He sexually abused their three daughters. Ms. Sauvage later found out that her only son committed suicide the day before she killed her husband. This man had made all their lives miserable.

In French law, self-defense only applies to a response to an immediate attack. Jacqueline Sauvage killed Norbert Marot after he punched her face to wake her from a nap, to make dinner. But she waited a few minutes before actually shooting him, thus not self-defense by law. After a long and arduous trial, it was decided that Ms. Sauvage was deemed guilty of murder.

In France in 2014 alone, 134 women died from domestic abuse, and five killed their husbands. Are these women wrong? A national debate is raging in France. President Hollande has commuted part of Ms. Sauvage’s sentence, now she only has six more months in a detention center before she can be granted parole. She says for the first time, she feels free.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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