1 in 8 French women has been raped, survey reveals

1 in 8 French women has been raped, survey reveals
A shocking new survey of French women has found that roughly 12 percent of them have been raped at least once in their lifetime. Some 43 percent of respondents also said they had been sexually touched without their consent.

The study, carried out by the Paris-based think tank, Fondation Jean Jaurès, surveyed 2,167 women to assess the frequency of and attitudes towards sexual violence in the country. Alarmingly, it found more than half of participants (58 percent) have been subjected to disturbing propositions.

READ MORE: French man on trial for having sex with 11yo ‘not a predator’ because victim ‘not a child’ – lawyers

The study analysed various forms of sexual abuse, from pornographic messages sent via email or text, to cyber-harassment and gestures with sexual connotations. The report says it highlights “the complex, repetitive and cumulative nature of this type of violence among the women concerned”.

Furthermore, the survey found most women who reported such abuse have experienced it several times in their lifetimes. Sexual abuse of any kind can cause "heavy consequences and long-term repercussions suffered by the victims," according to the report.

Much like the #MeToo movement, French women have felt empowered by the Hollywood retaliation against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, to share their own experiences on social media under the hashtag “#BalanceTonPorc” (“rat on your pig”). However, a number of prominent French women, including model Laetitia Casta and actress Catherine Deneuve, criticized the movements for their growing radicalism that turns women into victims and summarily punishes men even for reported misdeeds without giving them a chance to defend themselves.

The French minister for gender equality Marlène Schiappa has set out plans to crack down on sexual violence and harassment. The new measures include introducing an on-the-spot €90 fine for catcalling, lengthening the time within which sexually abused children can make an official complaint and toughening the laws against sex with minors.

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