France takes to streets to protest against sexist violence

Nov 24, 2019
Paris:  Tens of thousands of people demonstrated on Saturday in France against sexist violence, in a year marked by the alarming figure of 137 women killed by their partners, and demanded urgent measures and a budget from the executive of to combat these crimes.

In Paris, the march brought together 49,000 people, according to independent study cabinet Occurrence, and 1,00,000 according to organizer Nous Toutes, which also gave the figure of 1,50,000 protesters throughout France, the Efe news reported.

“This protest is the reflection of an unprecedented mobilization in society on the issue of sexual and sexist violence. We feel that the level of awareness and willingness to act are increasing dramatically in French society,” said Caroline De Haas, founder of the association, which called the march “historic”.

Using news reports, organizations this year count 137 women killed by their partners or ex-partners, compared to 109 women in 2017 and 121 in 2018.

“Our country has to get out of the denial of this violence, the banalization and the blaming of the victims,”?? added the activist on Saturday, two days before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The organization has asked the government one billion euros to combat spousal violence, compared to 577 million that it has budgeted to combat inequalities between men and women in 2020.

An amount that they consider to be much lower than the one needed, and they also requested concrete measures be approved to prevention, promoting education at school as well as training specialists: judges, doctors and police.

Headed by relatives of victims of domestic violence, the march brought together a multitude of young students, families and pensioners.

“In France, these things were not talked about before. I am realizing from the #MeToo movement that I have not talked so far about everything that could have happened to me,” said Véronique Grontier, a 65-year-old protestor.

Anne and Fanny, two 14-year-old students, came with their mothers, who said they were “proud” of having added their daughters to the feminist movement.

“It affects me to think that there are women who die at the hands of their husbands,” said Fanny, whose banner read: “The hand for caresses, not for blows.”

Among committed activists and ordinary citizens, she highlighted a growing participation of men with posters such as “Down with the Patriarchy” and “Crime of Passion = Femicide”, one of the main criticisms that associations have released to the press, where in many newspapers the phrase “crime of passion” is used to refer to domestic murders.

“When my daughter was born and I announced it in my company, my classmates told me: ‘Girls bring a lot of problems.’ There I understood that sexism is a systemic problem where all men, even those I considered good uncles, have been sexists and even violent,” Cédric Temple, a 39-year-old computer scientist, said.

Carrying her little daughter in his arms, Camille Victorine, 36, said she felt “born in another world.”

“When I was little we didn’t talk about these things, we suffered in silence, and I feel that from #MeToo we can talk, because they listen to us more and more. This does not end here, but it is a great release. I suffered a lot of violence when I was young and not I want that to reproduce,” Victorine added.

The march, which covered the main avenues in Paris, also had the support of most national unions and leftist parties, with famous faces, such as actresses Léa Drucker and Julie Gayet, and Vincent Trintignant the brother of actress Marie Trintignant who was beaten to death by her partner in 2003. IANS