Women de­mand ac­tion on do­mes­tic vi­o­lence

Times Standard (Eureka) - - NEWS -

LES MUREAUX, FRANCE >> Sylvia. Dalila. Ami­nata. Cé­line. Julie. Their names are plas­tered on build­ings and head­lines across France, call­ing at­ten­tion to their shared fate: Each was killed, al­legedly by a cur­rent or for­mer part­ner this year.

More than 130 women have died from do­mes­tic vi­o­lence this year alone in France, ac­cord­ing to ac­tivists who track the deaths.

Euro­pean Union stud­ies show France has a higher rate of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence than most of its Euro­pean peers. And frus­trated ac­tivists have drawn na­tional at­ten­tion to a prob­lem Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron has called “France’s shame.”

Un­der cover of night, ac­tivists have glued posters with the names of the dead and calls to ac­tion to French city walls. “Com­plaints ig­nored, women killed,” read the black block let­ters on one such sign. They have also posted anti-vi­o­lence slo­gans, tagged with Macron’s name.

By the hun­dreds, women have walked silently through city streets af­ter each new death.

Two years af­ter Macron made a cam­paign pledge to tackle the prob­lem, his cen­trist French gov­ern­ment has be­gun to act.

A Jus­tice Min­istry re­port re­leased ear­lier this month ac­knowl­edged au­thor­i­ties’ sys­tem­atic fail­ure to in­ter­vene to pre­vent do­mes­tic vi­o­lence slay­ings. On Mon­day, the gov­ern­ment will an­nounce mea­sures that are ex­pected to in­clude seiz­ing firearms from peo­ple sus­pected of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, pri­or­i­tiz­ing po­lice training and for­mally rec­og­niz­ing “psy­cho­log­i­cal vi­o­lence” as a form of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

Women are not the only vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, but French of­fi­cials say they make up the vast ma­jor­ity.

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