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France takes measures to combat domestic violence amid lockdown

The authorities report a 32% surge in reported cases

  • 01 april 2020 19:30
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
Medium fear 1131143 1920

As reports of domestic abuse in France soar by more than 30% after the coronavirus lockdown was introduced, authorities announce further measures against the problem. These include hotel accommodation for victims, additional funding for organizations working in the field of domestic violence and more places to provide support to women.

Social consequences of the isolation

France announced a lockdown on 17 March in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. But, this, apart from the economic repercussions, has already caused grave social consequences. As experts in the field have warned before, the domestic violence cases have soared by more than one third, since the government imposed social distancing.

In particular, the government reports a 36% increase in reports in Paris and 32% in the rest of the country. Furthermore, the number can actually be higher, as the current conditions make it harder for victims to report and seek help.

New measures in France

That is why Minister Marlene Schiappa, responsible for gender equality, announced on Monday several important measures to remedy the situation. These include the following:

  • Establishing support points for women in supermarkets
  • Providing hotel accommodation to victims (20,000 nights at a hotel)
  • 1 million euros state help to associations

In order to facilitate abuse reporting, there will be at least 20 centres in stores across the country. They will make it possible for victims to ask for help while going for groceries.

Accordingly, there will be more funds provided to associations on the front line, in order to help them meet the increased demand for help from victims.

As for hotel accommodations, this measure aims to distance the victim from the abuser, as in the domestic violence cases the two end up remaining very close.

The lockdown is previewed to last until 17 April. Until this time, citizens can leave home only to buy food, medication, go to the doctor, exercise or take their pets for a walk.

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