France harassment law hands out 447 fines in first months

The 'outrages sexistes' law was passed in August 2018, and allows for on-the-spot fines of up to €750.

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French courts have handed down 447 fines in the past eight months under new laws to tackle street harassment of women, reports the BBC.

The "outrages sexistes" law was passed in August 2018, and allows for on-the-spot fines of up to €750 (£650).

The first fine was handed down a month later to a man who slapped a woman's bottom on a bus and made lewd remarks.

Equality minister Marlène Schiappa said the number of cases since had proved such measures work.

In a progress report to the French parliament, she said the figures were nothing to be ashamed of.

"Many of you on these benches told us it would never work, that we would not be able to define offensive sexist behaviour," she said - and promised that the deterrent would "grow in power".

Read more of this report from the  BBC.

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