France to step up action against domestic violence as hundreds take to the streets

The French government will in September begin a major consultation on domestic violence in order to stamp out gender-based murder and violence against women.

France to step up action against domestic violence as hundreds take to the streets
Women take to the streets of Paris to protest. Photos: AFP

Since January, 75 women have died as a result of “femicide” – murder at the hands of a husband or partner – prompting more than 1,200 protesters to take to the streets of Paris to demand action.


“We are launching… a national consultation with the public and a campaign to wake up society,” France's Minister for Gender Equality Marlene Schiappa told the Journal du Dimanche (JDD).

The consultation, which will begin on September 3, will be overseen by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and bring together ministers, rights groups, public services and victims' families with the aim of “creating more effective ways of working” on the ground, she said. 

But the announcement drew a scathing response from feminist collective #NousToutes (“All of Us”), which denounced the delay in taking action in a  statement titled: “Mr President, violence does not take a holiday”. 

“Women are in danger right now,” the group said after a woman in her 30s was strangled to death at her home on Saturday.

In a message on Facebook late Saturday, President Emmanuel Macron admitted that France “has not known how to protect” women from deadly violence by their current or former partners.


La Fondation des Femmes (The Women's Foundation) said the government consultation was “a first positive step” but warned that the victims needed “real and concrete measures, with funding” and not just “another awareness campaign”.

Schiappa said the consultation process would end on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

In 2017, 130 women in France were killed by a partner or former partner, compared with 123 a year earlier, interior ministry figures show. 

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Paris police warn tourists about ‘petition’ scam

Paris police have issued a warning to tourists to beware of scams targeting visitors that involve false petitions and donation drives.

Paris police warn tourists about 'petition' scam

The police préfecture in Paris has released an announcement warning tourists about a scam that might be used to target them especially. 

The scam involves young boys and girls asking people to sign their petitions and requesting that they give a donation. In reality, many people – especially tourists or those unfamiliar with the local area – find themselves giving their money away to a false organisation.

In other cases, the petition acts as a distraction while pickpockets target the visitors.

Frequently, these scams involve the young people feigning deafness or the inability to speak, and pretending to collect funds on behalf of NGO for the hard of hearing. 

The scam is just one of a number that criminals use to prey on tourists, and visitors return to Paris after a two-year break, police are warning people to be vigilant – especially in tourist hotspots such as Montmartre and the Eiffel Tower area or in transport interchanges such as Gare du Nord.

READ MORE: Warning: 6 of the most common scams in France to watch out for

For more advice on how to stay safe in Paris as a tourist, you can read the police “Guide for Staying Safe in Paris