More than 100 women in France have been killed in domestic violence incidents so far this year, sparking rallies across the country. And leaders have noticed.
Last week, French officials launched a large-scale domestic violence conference in the country, known as the “Grenelle des violences conjugales.” It’s scheduled to continue through Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. French officials and lawyers, as well as associations representing victims and their families, plan to meet in the coming weeks to discuss how to prevent these crimes and punish offenders.
One of the topics Marlène Schiappa, France’s secretary of equality between women and men, has said might come up is whether the term “femicide,” referring to a man killing a woman because of her gender, should be made part of France’s penal code.
The topic has been a subject of debate among legal experts in the country, reported Marine Le Breton for HuffPost France.
“The more precisely we name it, the more equipped we are to identify the root of the violence, and the better we can fight it,” the president of a group focused on preventing violence and providing care for victims told Marine. Yet, others have said a separate legal category of crime isn’t necessary.
In the first week of the domestic violence conference, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced a spate of emergency measures to address domestic violence. However, many associations were disappointed with the measures and found them to be insufficient, Marine said.
It’s unclear so far what other actions might come from the domestic violence discussions, though Marine expects officials will make other announcements by the end of the conference. In the meantime, Marine points out, France’s secretary of equality between women and men shared an invitation on Twitter for the families of victims of femicide to share their thoughts with the government.
HuffPost will keep tabs on what develops. Watch this space for updates this fall.
Until next time,
Readers of French can follow Marine Le Breton (@marine_mlb) for more stories about feminism, discrimination, LGBTQ rights and animal welfare, or follow HuffPost France (@LeHuffPost) for more news about the ongoing domestic violence conference.
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Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.