France: demonstrations in several cities against gender-based and sexual violence
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A few days before the international day against violence against women (November 25), tens of thousands of people beat the pavement on Saturday in several cities in France, at the call of 90 organizations, in order to claim more means, particularly legal, to combat violence against women.

“Stop the culture of rape”, “believing the victims save lives”… Tens of thousands of people demonstrated on Saturday November 19 throughout France to denounce the dysfunctions of justice in the fight against gender-based violence and sexual, and in particular to demand a “framework law” against the “impunity” of the aggressors.

Five years after the emergence of the #MeToo movement, nearly 90 associations, unions or left-wing parties have called for a “tidal wave in the street to shout our anger”.

In Paris, several thousand people began to march around 2:30 p.m. from Place de la République to Place de la Nation, noted an AFP journalist. “We are strong, we are proud and feminist and radical and angry”, chanted protesters, while others shouted “meToo everywhere, justice nowhere”.

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On placards, uniformly purple, the emblematic color of the gathering, one could read in particular “dominant male, who do you think you are?”, “stop the culture of rape” or even “believing the victims saves lives”.

“What makes us angry is the impunity of the aggressors and the mistreatment reserved for the victims” when they file a complaint, explained to AFP Maëlle Noir, member of #NousToutes who coordinates the organization of the parades. .

“We are demonstrating today to pay tribute to the victims,” ​​insisted Sandrine Bouchait, of the National Union of Families of Femicide (UNFF), for whom “feminicide is the top of the pyramid of violence. sexual and sexist” and whose association asks for relatives “a status of victims with psychological and financial support”.

More generally, the associations are calling for a public budget of two billion euros per year, but also a “framework law” which would notably establish “brigades and specialized courts”, financial aid for the “security” of women victims. , 15,000 additional accommodation places or the strengthening of education in sexual and affective life at school.

Exasperation of feminist organizations

The minister responsible for gender equality, Isabelle Rome, recalled on RMC that she was open to the establishment of specialized police and justice, a subject on which a parliamentary mission is working. As for the financial means, “they have not stopped increasing”, to reach “a total amount of 2.4 billion” euros, she observed, acknowledging that these sums are “not specifically” dedicated in the fight against violence.

The call to demonstrate – ahead of November 25, the world day for the fight against violence against women – concerned many cities in France. In Rennes, the demonstration, to cries of “no rapists in our neighborhoods, no neighborhood for rapists”, brought together some 700 people, according to the prefecture. In Metz (280 people according to the police), demonstrators held up signs like “in 12 feminicides, it’s Christmas” or “Will you believe me when I’m dead?”.

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Marlène Leclercq, 19, a political science student who paraded in Lille, wrote on a sign “happy birthday to one of my rapes”. She explains that she was raped by an ex-boyfriend: “I am slowly starting to talk about it. Let us listen to them (women victims of violence), it could avoid femicides”, she hopes.

The exasperation of feminist organizations is fueled by the high number of feminicides – already 100 since the beginning of the year according to an associative collective, against 122 last year according to official figures –, and by the reluctance of the political world. to remove certain officials accused of violence against women.

The EELV and LFI parties “signed our call to demonstrate. We are going to ask them today to respect their signature” and to “remove from their parliamentary group men implicated for violence”, declared Pauline Baron, of #NousToutes , citing the cases of Adrien Quatennens (LFI) and Julien Bayou (EELV).

In Lille, Yann Marmignon, a 19-year-old arts student, brandished a sign “Quatennens resignation”, judging that violence against women, “it’s something important, which affects us all, even at the level of politicians” .

Between 2017 and 2021, the number of rapes or attempted rapes recorded by the Ministry of the Interior doubled, from 16,900 to 34,300. The victims are more likely to denounce old facts, explains the ministry, which sees to it also the sign of the “freedom of speech”. An expression that now exasperates associations, because “women have always spoken, but they are not listened to”, points out Maëlle Noir.

With AFP

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