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Domestic violence: ‘A woman is killed every three days’ in France

A total of 121 women were killed by their partner or former partner in France last year, equating to one death every three days, government figures have revealed.

Domestic violence: 'A woman is killed every three days' in France
Photo: Depositphotos
The numbers were made public just days after the French government announced it would hold a major consultation on domestic violence in order to stamp out gender-based murder and violence against women.
   
Collated by a unit of the interior ministry responsible for liaising with victims, the figure was slightly lower than a year earlier when 130 women died after suffering domestic violence but similar to 2016, when there were 123 deaths. 
   
Out of the 121 cases, 26 were classed as murder, 85 as manslaughter and 10 deaths occurred when women succumbed to injuries sustained during an attack. 
   
So far this year, 76 women have died as a result of “femicide” — murder at the hands of a husband or partner.
 
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France to step up action against domestic violence as hundreds take to the streetsPhoto: AFP

On average, 219,000 women between the ages of 18 and 75 experience physical or sexual violence every year at the hands of their current or former partner, 
government figures show. 
   
Three out of four victims say it has happened on a repeated basis, and eight out of 10 report suffering from psychological or verbal abuse. 
 
One death every three days
 
“So a crime resulting in death happens within a couple every two-and-a-half days and a woman dies at the hands of her partner or ex-partner every three days,” said Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and Gender Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa in a joint statement.
 
The figures also said 28 men had died as a result of domestic violence, 15 of whom “had previously been violent” to their partner. 
 
At the weekend, more than 1,200 protesters took to the streets of Paris to demand action on domestic violence after a woman in her 30s was strangled at her home. 
   
And on Sunday, Schiappa announced that the government would begin a major public consultation on domestic violence in early September involving ministers, experts, public services and the victims' families. 
   
But feminist collective #NousToutes (“All of Us”) said action was needed immediately. 
 
 “Mr President, violence does not take a holiday,” it said in a statement. “Women are in danger right now.”
   
Although La Fondation des Femmes (The Women's Foundation) described it as “a first positive step”, it said victims needed “real and concrete measures, with funding” and not just “another awareness campaign”.

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CRIME

French court convicts 8 for stealing Banksy from Paris terror attack site

A French court on Thursday convicted eight men for the theft and handling of a Banksy painting paying homage to the victims of the 2015 attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.

French court convicts 8 for stealing Banksy from Paris terror attack site

Three men in their 30s who admitted to the 2019 theft were given prison sentences, one of four years and two of three, although they will be able to serve them wearing electronic tracking bracelets rather than behind bars.

Another man, a 41-year-old millionaire lottery winner and street art fan accused of being the mastermind of the heist, was given three years in jail for handling stolen goods after judges found the main allegation unproven. His sentence will also be served with a bracelet.

Elsewhere in the capital, the defence was making its final arguments in the trial of the surviving suspects in the 2015 Paris attacks themselves, with a verdict expected on June 29.

‘Acted like vultures’ 

British street artist Banksy painted his “sad girl” stencil on the metal door of the Bataclan in memory of the 90 people killed there on November 13th, 2015.

A white van with concealed number-plates was seen stopping on January 26, 2019 in an alleyway running alongside the central Paris music venue.

Many concertgoers fled via the same alley when the Bataclan became the focal point of France’s worst ever attacks since World War II, as Islamic State group jihadists killed 130 people at a string of sites across the capital.

On the morning of the theft, three masked men climbed out of the van, cut the hinges with angle grinders powered by a generator and left within 10 minutes, in what an investigating judge called a “meticulously prepared” heist.

Prosecutor Valerie Cadignan told the court earlier this month that the perpetrators had not sought to debase the memory of the attack victims, but “being aware of the priceless value of the door were looking to make a profit”.

She said the thieves “acted like vultures, like people who steal objects without any respect for what they might represent”.

During the trial, Bataclan staff said the theft sparked “deep indignation”, adding that the painted door was a “symbol of remembrance that belongs to everyone, locals, Parisians, citizens of the world”.

Investigators pieced together the door’s route across France and into Italy, where it was found in June 2020 on a farm in Sant’Omero, near the Adriatic coast.

Three men involved in transporting the door were each jailed for 10 months, while a 58-year-old Italian man who owns a hotel where it was temporarily stored received a six-month suspended sentence.

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