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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

French police report 16 percent increase in claims of domestic violence in 2019

French police reported a significant rise in the number of cases of domestic violence in 2019. Women represent most of the victims. (Illustration)
French police reported a significant rise in the number of cases of domestic violence in 2019. Women represent most of the victims. (Illustration) iStock/Patronestaff

The latest figures from the French police statistics bureau show that 142,310 individuals, both men and women, reported being victims of domestic violence in 2019. This is a 16 percent increase from the previous year.

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Presenting the figures, a police spokesman suggested that the September 2019 launch of a nationwide debate on domestic violence could, paradoxically, be responsible for the increased number of complaints, since victims are more inclined to believe they will be taken seriously by the authorities.

Women represent 88 percent of the victims, while men represent 12 percent.

Three percent of the crimes reported concern rape or sexual assault, with women being the victims in 98 percent of cases.

The number of violent deaths within couples also increased by 16 percent in 2019.

146 women were murdered by their partners or former partners in 2019, and increase of 25 victims compared to the previous year.

The eastern Doubs region is, for the second year in succession, the worst area in France for domestic violence. Corsica has the lowest level of reporting of such crimes.

Public sexism on the increase

In a separate report from the French interior ministry, details are given of the 1,746 cases of public outrage committed in violation of the law against sexist remarks and behaviour, introduced two years ago.

One French woman in four (24 percent) reported being the victim of sexist or sexual violence in public in a 2018 study.

Trial for 2017 wife murder opens

Meanwhile, a Frenchman went on trial Monday for beating his wife to death and burning her body in the woods, a crime he admitted to after initially reporting her missing.

Jonathann Daval risks life in prison for the murder of his wife Alexia, whose charred remains were found hidden under branches near their town of Gray-la-Ville in eastern France in October 2017.

Daval, who is 36 years old, initially said Alexia, a 29-year-old bank employee, had gone jogging and never came back.

After her death he appeared in tears at a press conference with his in-laws and at one of several events arranged countrywide in her memory.

Three months later, prosecutors said the IT worker confessed to the murder -- admitting that he had beaten his wife after a heated argument, knocking her face against a concrete wall and strangling her.

He initially denied setting fire to her body, but finally admitted that too, in June last year.

Daval changed his story several times, at one point withdrawing his confession, blaming his brother-in-law, before finally admitting to everything all over again.

 

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