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FEMICIDE VICTIMS REMEMBERED

Paris 'memorial' honours the 111 victims of femicide in 2020

Lest we forget: the names of the 111 victims of femicide in France in 2020. Women from the Collages Féminicides collective in Paris paste posters of the women's names onto a wall.
Lest we forget: the names of the 111 victims of femicide in France in 2020. Women from the Collages Féminicides collective in Paris paste posters of the women's names onto a wall. © Collages Féminicides Paris

Sixty feminist activists on Sunday pasted the names of the 111 women who lost their lives to femicide last year on walls in central Paris, calling on supporters to "honour the dead, protect the living".

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The names Sarah, Virginie, Grâce, Mathilde . . . are printed in black letters, and have been glued to the walls of a covered passageway in the central 11th district of the French capital. The location was chosen to ensure that winter weather will not too quickly destroy this "memorial".

Alongside the names, a statement informs passers-by that 98 women were murdered by their partners or ex-partners in the course of 2020, along with 11 sex workers, and two trans-sexuals. 

Even if the official statistics for 2020 show a slight decline in the number of those fatally injured compared to 2019, a spokeswoman for the the organisers of the Paris action said there had been much more violence against women in 2020.

Official sources confirm this.

According to figures released by Junior Minister Marlène Schiappa, there was a 60 percent increase in the number of calls to domestic violence helplines during the second national lockdown. The first national closedown in responce to the Covid-19 epidemic had already seen calls for help rocket by 40 percent.

Along with the names, slogans reading "State guilt, justice guilty", "More attention dead than alive", "Do something before more of us die", were displayed.

One participant told journalists that she felt the government was not doing enough. "We need money, help for the associations that help us." She also called for a more rapid extension of the system of electronic bracelets intended to keep violent ex-partners at a safe distance from their families.

The Sunday memorial demonstration is also intended to boost public awareness.

"We have to open our eyes," says the same participant. "If you hear a neighbour screaming, you can't say it's not your business. That's just not possible."

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