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'New measures but no extra budget': Assessing France's plan to combat domestic abuse

Women's rights activist Rebecca Amsellem on France 24 on November 25, 2019.
Women's rights activist Rebecca Amsellem on France 24 on November 25, 2019. Screengrab, France 24

Rebecca Amsellem, a women's rights activist, spoke to FRANCE 24 about measures the French government announced on Monday to step up the fight the scourge of domestic abuse.

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French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe made the announcements on Monday, the United Nations-endorsed International Day for Eliminating Violence against Women.

On Saturday in France, tens of thousands of marchers took to the streets across the country in a show of solidarity organised by the feminist group #NousToutes to demand an end to violence against women.

Philippe expressed hope that the new plan would have the effect of an “electric shock”, saying the measures would seek to broaden the definition of violence, including taking account of how harassment can lead to suicide.

At least 117 women in France have been killed by a partner or former partner in 2019 to date, according to a case-by-case study by Agence France-Presse based on media reports. That figure compares with the 121 women killed last year in femicides.

Meanwhile, 213,000 women annually are victims of physical and or sexual violence in France at the hands of a current or former partner, according to official figures.

Speaking to FRANCE 24, Amsellem lauded some of the measures announced, but expressed concerns, for instance, over the budget set aside to follow through on the announcements.

“It’s not enough,” Amsellem said of the plan.

To watch, click on the video player above.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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