France fines more than 700 men in first year of anti sexual harassment law

New laws cracking down on sexual harassment of women in the street in France have netted more than 700 fines in the first year, the government has revealed.

France fines more than 700 men in first year of anti sexual harassment law
Photo: AFP

Gender equality minister Marlene Schiappa announced numbers, tweeting: “It is no longer acceptable to insult, to follow, to humiliate women by harassing them in the street, on transport or in public space, and must no longer be tolerated!” 

The exact number of people lined under the new law currently stands at 713. 



The law was introduced in August 2018 following mass public outrage when a man punched a woman for confronting him over wolf-whistling her outside a Paris café.

“We know very well at what point we start feeling intimidated, unsafe or harassed in the street,” the minister added. 

This can include invading a woman's personal space “by talking to you 10, 20 centimetres from your face” or when someone “asks for your number 17 times.”

Other crimes under the new law include catcalling, asking intrusive questions, unwanted following, “upskirting” (taking pictures under a woman's dress without her knowing) or even just commenting on a woman's looks or clothing. 

Offenders face on-the-spot fines of up to €750 or €1,500 if there are aggravating circumstances such as the victim being under 15.



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