All over France, demonstrators denounce violence against women

PARIS (AP) – Tens of thousands of protesters marched in Paris and other French cities on Saturday to demand more government action to prevent violence against women. The protests come amid growing outrage in France over women being killed by their partners and as French women increasingly denounce sexual harassment and abuse.

Protesters marched in Paris behind a large banner saying “Stop gender-based and sexual violence”.

“We always put the blame on women,” said Parisian protester Ghislaine Gireire-Revalier, expressing sympathy for women who are trapped in violent domestic situations. “What we forget is the phenomenon of being in the grip … little by little it’s like a spider surrounding you in its web.”

Groups fighting violence against women have said at least 101 women have been killed by their partner or ex-partner in France so far this year, or about one woman every three days. More than 220,000 women experience physical or sexual abuse from their partners each year, according to a 2017 national study.

Activists urge President Emmanuel Macron’s government to spend € 1 billion ($ 1.1 billion) each year on combating violence against women, instead of the 360 ​​million ($ 406 million) currently spent, in part to create more shelters.

Protester Meryll Le Goff said “there are measures that have been put in place like the telephone for people in serious danger”, a special telephone with a button to push to alert the police. More than 2,500 such phones were deployed across the country in September, the justice ministry said.

“But there isn’t enough for everyone,” Le Goff said. “Half-done measures, men who are temporarily detained or even imprisoned but who are ultimately released without any subsequent action… that’s the problem. ”

The protests are part of a week of global action marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

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