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CRIME

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 police bust cross-Channel people-smuggling ring

French police have busted a major people-smuggling ring that has been sending migrants to Britain in dinghies, with more than a dozen boats and 700 life jackets seized in a raid, French authorities said Thursday.

French police bust cross-Channel people-smuggling ring

The ring was run by Iraqi Kurdish migrants and had a logistics hub in Lille, a northern French city about 100 kilmetres (60 miles) from the northern Channel beaches around Calais that are used for crossings.

Three Iraqi men have been charged, along with three French suspects after their arrest on Monday.

Police discovered “a real factory supplying nautical equipment” in Lille, the head of French anti-migration agency Ocriest, Xavier Delrieu, told AFP.

In what was their biggest ever seizure of equipment, they found 13 inflatable boats, 14 outboard engines, 700 life jackets, 100 pumps and 700 litres of fuel, Delrieu said.

The group is suspected of having organised 80 Channel crossings over the summer, of which 50 succeeded, with the smugglers netting around €80,000 for each one.

The arrests came due to intelligence-sharing between authorities in Belgium, Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, who are all trying to crack down on migrants crossing the Channel by boat.

The original tip-off came after a border guard control discovered a group of French youths carrying inflatables from Germany into the Netherlands.

More migrants have crossed the Channel to the UK from northern France so far this year than in the whole of 2021.

So far this year, more than 30,000 people have been detected crossing the Channel to the UK, fresh government figures showed Thursday. On Wednesday alone, the authorities detected another 667 people.

Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, has faced some criticism from other Conservatives and in right-wing media outlets for not pressing for more French action against the crossings when she met President Emmanuel Macron in New York on Tuesday.

Downing Street said the issue did not come up at their talks on the margins of the UN General Assembly, which instead focused on common ground including Ukraine and energy security.

The crossings are among a host of issues that have badly strained Franco-British relations in recent years.

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