French study exposes extent of sexual aggression against women in public

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A report published this month by France’s national institute of demographic studies, INED, suggests that one woman in five in the country falls victim every year to incidents of sexual and sexist abuse in public spaces, ranging from assault to harassment, and the most vulnerable are women aged between 20 and 24 who live in the Paris region. Louise Fessard reports.

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The continuing avalanche of shocking allegations of rape, sexual assault and harassment levelled at Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and numerous other well-known figures in various professional spheres has prompted a wide debate in France, as elsewhere, about how to tackle violence and sexist behaviour towards women which permeates all social levels.