MAP. Gender-based violence: Parades across France this Saturday against “impunity for aggressors”

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The #NousToutes collective calls for demonstrations throughout France against sexist and sexual violence this Saturday. The organizers denounce the impunity of the aggressors and the ill-treatment reserved for the victims. The collective makes several proposals.

They want to “howl their anger” in the face of the dysfunctions of justice and political speeches that “defend the aggressors”: tens of thousands of demonstrators – and demonstrators – are expected this Saturday throughout France to demand a “framework law” against violence gender and sexual.

In the police stations, in the courts or within political parties, “the last few months have shown to what extent the voices of victims of gender-based violence have been questioned”, protest the organizers of the mobilization. “What makes us angry is the impunity of the aggressors and the ill-treatment reserved for the victims” when they file a complaint, explains Maëlle Noir, a member of #NousToutes who coordinates the organization of the marches. “We are constantly told that justice must do its job, but what job? We cannot blame the victim for not filing a complaint if she knows she will get nowhere,” protests the activist.

Five years after the emergence of the #MeToo movement, “sexist and sexual violence remains massive” and public policies “not suited to the problem”, say the organizers in their call to demonstrate, signed by nearly 90 associations, unions and leftists parties.

Saturday 19 November #We all demonstrate to say enough to sexist and sexual violence. Denounce the impunity of the aggressors, on behalf of all victims abandoned by justice.

Meet on the street. pic.twitter.com/sSirGJzijt

— #WeAll (@WeAllOrg) June 5, 2022

Classifications without follow-up, derisive sentences

Feminist associations complain about the “unsuccessful classifications and negligible sentences” decided by the courts and chastise the “gag lawsuits” brought by “well-known and powerful men accused of rape”, who attack their accusers for defamation in order to “reduce them to silence “.

To combat violence, they are asking for a public budget of two billion euros a year, but also for a “framework law” which establishes in particular “specialised brigades and courts”, financial aid for the “safety” of female victims, 15,000 additional dedicated housing places, or strengthening sexual and emotional life education at school.

In Paris, the procession will leave at 2 pm from Place de la République and reach Place de la Nation. Demonstrations are also planned in Marseille, Nice, Toulouse, Lille, Strasbourg, Rennes, Nancy or Dijon, in particular. In 2021 the mobilization – organized in view of November 25, the date of the world day for the fight against violence against women – had gathered 50,000 people in Paris according to the organizers, and 18,000 according to the police headquarters. .

Women “are not heard”

A year later, the exasperation of feminist organizations is still strong, fueled by the high number of feminicides – already 100 since the beginning of the year according to an associative collective, against 122 last year according to official data – and by the reluctance of the political world to dismiss some officials accused of violence against women.

Like LFI MP Adrien Quatennens, who confessed to committing domestic violence but was defended by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and whose party is trying to plan a return to the National Assembly. Defending the politicians implicated in these cases sends “a signal of impunity to all of society”, the activists complain in their appeal. However, the reported facts are increasingly numerous: between 2017 and 2021 the number of rapes or attempted rapes recorded by the Ministry of the Interior doubled, from 16,900 to 34,300. he sees in it the sign of the “liberation of the word”.

An expression that now exasperates the associations, because “women have always spoken, but they have not been listened to”, underlines Maëlle Noir. For Anne-Cécile Mailfert, president of the Women’s Foundation, since “MeToo” the public authorities have “defended above all the presumption of innocence, rather than the fight against impunity, which has been getting worse for five years”. “When you have undertrained and overworked law enforcement officers who take complaints but don’t have time to investigate, it provides rankings with no follow-up to the shovel,” she analyzes. “#MeToo is a cry of outrage that hasn’t been taken seriously enough. But it won’t stop.”

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