In 2016, one hundred and twenty-three women were killed by their partners in France according to a report published by France’s Home Office (the equivalent of the FBI and Homeland Security departments in the US) on September 1st, 2017.
The study focuses on intimate partner deaths in France and shows that women remain the principle victims of domestic violence. Thirty-four men were also identified. In total, one hundred and fifty-seven people lost their lives in 2016, an increase of 9% compared to 2015, when there were one hundred and forty-four victims.
An international report from the UN published in 2015 supports this observation. According to the report, two thirds of all domestic violence deaths are women.
An article published by the French journal Liberation gives details about these victims, who come from every social class, depicting their candid moments and their stories. The paper points out the main cause for men to commit these femicides: the refusal to break up. Ernestine Ronai, Psychologist and Head of the Women’s Violence Observatory in Seine-Saint-Denis explains, “You do not murder your wife out of love. You murder her because you cannot stand the fact of losing her. You want to keep your property.”
Another crucial aspect is highlighted in the report: children are at the center of domestic violence. Often times traumatized because they are the first witnesses to this violence, they are also collateral victims. In total, twenty-five children lost their lives in 2016. Amongst them, nine children died with their mothers.
The Hubertine Aucler Center, a regional resource center dedicated to the promotion of gender equality in France, published a report called “Better protection and guidance for children, co-victims of domestic violence” on September 7th. It recommends reinforcing financial resources and support to “women survivors and their children” in order to encourage them to speak out and prevent violence.
This study is based on the first national plan to counter violence against children and the fifth national plan to mobilize and combat violence against women, both launched in 2017 by the French government.
For more information about French organizations that support victims of domestic abuse, visit the National Federation of Solidarity for Women’s (FNSF) website, a network of organizations that provide guidance and shelter for women victims of abuse, or contact the 3919 in France (Anonymous and free of charge).