Last Saturday, thousands of activists took to the streets in Paris to bring attention to an alarming rise in femicides in France in 2019: Since January 1st, 76 women have been killed by their partner or ex-partner .
Despite the launch of 5 new measures to combat domestic violence in October 2018 (including a TV campaign, an online platform for reporting abuse, a GPS to help women locate shelters and safe houses, and increased funding for a domestic violence hotline) the number of women murdered is increasing: in 2019, a woman dies every 2 days from domestic violence compared to every 3 days in 2018.
A few days before the protest, feminists and activists took a strong stance with a tribune published in Le Monde outlining 5 immediate measures to take before summer to protect women, which included:
- Double the funding to organizations so they are able to provide services to all survivors
- Attribute more protection orders in each department and suspend child custody to men suspected of killing their wife or partner during investigations
- Open more shelters for survivors of domestic violence
- Set up a plan to systematically detect domestic violence in hospitals
Ensure that all victims of domestic violence are correctly listened to and answered by police officers with sanctions for agents who refuse to accept their complaints
In September 2019, a “Grenelle des violences conjugales” (a summit for domestic violence issues) has been announced to end domestic violence: "On 3 September in Matignon (Paris), we will organise a Grenelle on domestic violence. That's a first. It will be introduced by the Prime Minister and will bring together the ministers concerned, actors on the ground, public services, associations, families of victims, in order to build together effective measures to eradicate this phenomenon ", says Marlène Schiappa France’s Gender Equality Minister.
Specialist organizations working with women survivors of violence, including our partner Féderation Nationale Solidarité Femmes are sharing their recommendations to prepare for the summit in September. The hope is that these measures taken during the “Grenelle des violences conjugales” will be implemented on a long-term basis to improve the entire process for women victims of violence,in particular when it comes to the safety of women survivors and their access to accommodation .
After meeting with Fédération Nationale Solidarité Femmes, Marlène Schiappa announced she would be allocating an exceptional grant and opening 240 additional shelter places for women victims of domestic violence before September .
Update: On July 19th, another tribune was published on the France Info website by families of the victimes, demanding effective and concrete action to end domestic violence. Among them, the introduction of the term "feminicide" in the Criminal Code as a male-dominated and systematic crime and the creation of a "domestic violence and feminicide" training for police officers.