The French government has taken measures to address the increase in domestic violence related deaths that have occurred in France since the beginning of the year, including a series of conferences to address the prevention of femicide, specific prosecutors and courts to handle domestic violence cases, and universal protocol to address the danger of women’s domestic situations.

So far this year in France 100 women have died at the hands of an intimate partner or former partner, which amounts to about one woman being killed every three days. Recent data from Eurostat shows that more women are killed in France each year than in Britain, the Netherlands, Italy, or Spain. Only Germany and Switzerland outrank France.

“These aren’t family dramas, or crimes of passion,” said @Feminicide, a group on Facebook that has tracked the domestic violence related killings since the beginning of the year. “This is domestic violence perpetrated by frustrated men who have given themselves a license to kill. These are systematic assassinations rooted in a problem with our society, and in a patriarchal education system that gives men the right to possess and dispose of women and children.”

The French government has opened up a national debate that began on September 3 and will end on November 25 which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. A series of 91 conferences will be held to discuss the prevention of domestic violence, femicide, and how to appropriately support victims and punish offenders. The meetings will include government officials, lawyers, and victim’s rights groups.

Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe presented a series of changes that will enable French authorities to respond more diligently to domestic violence situations such as establishing a universal protocol to assess the danger victims are facing and designating special prosecutors and courts to handle domestic violence cases.

“Acts of domestic violence are not disagreements within a couple where the blame is shared,” stated Mr. Philippe. “Very often it is a process of sexist control, so ingrained in our mentalities and our habits that some men have grown used to a form of impunity.”

Sources: NYT 9/3/19; France 24 8/7/19

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