domestic violence

The volunteers helping domestic violence victims in rural France

France— Report

According to a 2021 report by French senators, half of all murders of women in France are committed in rural regions, where just one third of the country’s female population reside. The plight of women victims of domestic violence is particularly acute in rural areas where isolation, local taboos and the relative scarcity of public services combine to aggravate their distress. Élodie Potente reports from the Drôme, a rural south-east département (county), where local associations and volunteers provide help for victims amid the absence of adequate state support.

French minister claims ‘witch-hunt’ of gendarmerie chief in domestic violence case

France

Following an investigation by Mediapart which revealed how the newly appointed head of the gendarmerie in France’s South Pacific territory of New Caledonia had been convicted of domestic violence, Colonel Éric Steiger was forced to resign his prestigious post last Friday. Despite the public outrage prompted by the case, and notably how the colonel’s hierarchy were well aware of his conviction, French interior minister Gérald Darmanin, in a radio interview on Tuesday morning, denounced a “cabal” against Steiger, who has admitted committing violence against his ex-wife, adding “I am not for witch-hunts”. Matthieu Suc, Pascale Pascariello and Antton Rouget report.

French government presents new measures against domestic violence

France— Link

French interior minister Gérald Darmanin has presented a series of new measures to tackle domestic violence, which last year led to the deaths of 125 people, mostly women, and was the reason for more than 400,000 police call-outs.

Domestic violence: when cruelty to animals can sound the alarm

France

Evidence suggests that men who are violent towards their wives and children are often also involved in cruel and violent behaviour to pets within the home. While the link has become a key lead in some countries for investigating domestic violence, it is still largely ignored in France despite representing an opportunity for the early identification and protection of victims. Audrey Guiller and Nolwenn Weiler report.

Writing on the wall: the French women shaming male violence

France— Link

Across Paris and other cities and towns around France, women activists are leading an original and striking poster campaign to raise awareness over sexual and domestic violence in the country, and their example is now being followed by others across Europe.

Three gendarmes shot dead in domestic violence case

France— Link

Three gendarmes aged between 21 and 45 were shot dead and another was wounded while responding to a case of domestic violence in an isolated rural area of central France on Tuesday evening, when the former husband of a woman who had sought refuge on the roof of her house was later found dead in his car. 

France adopts domestic violence bill giving more power to doctors

France— Link

The legislation allows doctors to break patient confidentiality if they believe a life is "in immediate danger".

French child protection services warn of 'massive' abuse under lockdown

France

As France this week stepped out of the public lockdown measures, lifted after two months during which families have been largely confined to their homes, child protection professionals fear the discovery of what one judge predicted will prove to be a “massive” rise in cases of abuse of children at home. As Sophie Boutboul reports, social workers, associations, magistrates and child psychologists are readying for a horrific count, including “invisible murders” of infants under the lockdown.

French state on trial over murders of woman and parents by partner

France— Link

The sister of a mother of two children who was shot dead with her parents by a partner previously reported to the authorities for domestic violence has brought a court case against the French state for failing to prevent the killings in what her lawyer said was a 'textbook case' of 'neglect at every level'.

Thomas Piketty, Aurélie Filippetti and the buried 'domestic violence' case

France

Late last year, the acclaimed French economist Thomas Piketty, a best-selling author for his work centred on wealth and income gaps, hailed by the Left and spurned by the Right, gave a conference at the university of Toulouse, south-west France, when he was surprised by a question from a student. It concerned a complaint for domestic violence filed against him in 2009 by his former partner, then a socialist MP and later culture minister, Aurélie Filippetti. His response prompted Filippetti to lodge a new complaint, this time for defamation, which has had the effect of breaking a decade-long taboo among the French media and political circles. Lénaïg Bredoux reports.

French justice ministry report highlights fatal failings in domestic violence cases

France

Victims of domestic violence in France, the vast majority of who are women, are being failed by the justice system and police, notably by not offering effective responses to formal complaints, concludes a French justice ministry report published at the weekend. The report examined 88 cases of domestic violence that ended in murder during the period 2015-2016, and of these 83 percent of the victims were women, many of whom had previously lodged complaints. Associations monitoring media-reported cases of women murdered by their partners or ex-partners estimate they number 135 so far this year. Meanwhile, justice minister Nicole Belloubet has said that the justice system “very clearly" is malfunctioning, and that new legislation must be drafted to address the failings. Dan Israel reports.

Paris protests over domestic violence murders

France— Link

Several hundreds of protestors gathered at five major public squares in Paris on Saturday where they lay on the ground for a 'die-in" protest at the number of murders of women in domestic violence crimes in France, holding photos of victims which activists say are among a total of 121 fatalities recorded so far this year, and calling on the government for rapid new measures to deal with the problem.   

French lower house approves bio-ethics and domestic violence bills

France— Link

The French lower house, the National Assembly, on Tuesday approved a bill on bio-ethics which will notably allow fertility treatment for single women and lesbian couples, and also voted through draft legislation containing new measures to crack down on domestic violence, both of which must now be passed on for approval by the Senate. 

Shock posters on Paris streets in campaign against domestic violence

France— Link

A Paris group of women campaigners against domestic violence, which is estimated by one feminist association to have caused the deaths of more than one hundred women in France since the start of the year, has launched a campaign to bring greater public awareness to the issue by placing posters in tribute to victims on the walls of the capital's streets.   

French government holds femicide conference but critics brand it 'meaningless'

France— Link

The French interior ministry recorded 121 femicides in 2018, a murder every three days.