“In the face of gender-based and sexual violence, we advocate for a major systemic transformation”

En France, one still dies of being a woman. Each year, according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, nearly 100,000 women are victims of rape or attempted rape, 12% of them have filed a complaint and only 1% of perpetrators of rape are convicted. In 2021, in France, 122 women were killed by their companion or ex-companion. To count is to make visible. To count is to allow a real awareness.

These feminicides are not private dramas. They testify to the violence and the scale of a phenomenon which must finally lead to an urgent reaction commensurate with the challenges. In 2017, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, pledged that the great cause of the five-year term would be that of equality between women and men.

Three priorities for action were then identified: education and the cultural fight in favor of equality, better support for victims and a strengthening of the repressive arsenal. While tools have come to strengthen the means of reacting to violence against women, such as the offense of sexist contempt, it is clear that they are only too little implemented and that they have not allowed to reduce the number of sexist and sexual assaults, or to take lasting action against the scourge of feminicides in France.

A priority mission of local authorities

The associations as well as the actresses and actors of the civil society are the first engaged on the ground with the women and their children, by proposing a concrete accompaniment, but also actions of prevention, sensitization with the general public and trainings of professionals. Local authorities are also committed to supplementing the mechanisms of the State, for which this is primarily the role, and in partnership with associations and specialized professionals.

Fighting for equality between women and men is indeed one of the missions of local authorities, which obviously involves fighting “against violence against women and attacks on their dignity”as stipulated by the law of August 4, 2014. In our cities, our towns, our departments, we have decided to go beyond our mandatory powers in this area and to act, both in our public policies and in our operating modes.

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This action has intensified since 2020, when confinement aggravated and highlighted domestic and intra-family violence. Our communities, because of their proximity to the inhabitants, have a considerable capacity for action to provide aid and support to the victims. A number of elected officials have thus committed themselves by making mandate commitments with this objective.

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