Big rise in rape complaints in France in 2018: interior ministry

Paris (AFP) –


The number of rape and sexual offence complaints made to French police "rose sharply" in 2018, according to figures published Thursday by the interior ministry.

Rape complaints increased almost 17 percent while sexual assault complaints jumped by around 20 percent, the statistics showed.

The figures came against a background of "collective awareness of violence towards women born out of the (Harvey) Weinstein affair... and the MeToo movement that followed", a report by the ministry's statistical service said.

"The higher number of victims... probably comes from increased reporting of such crimes and a reduction in tolerance for this type of violence," it added.

The global "MeToo" movement that followed the Weinstein case encouraged victims to speak out with sexual allegations surfacing against a raft of well-known figures in the media and entertainment industries.

Political figures and aid group chiefs have also faced allegations.