It’s not an open letter, but rather an open video (below), imploring the President of France to act on the problem of violence towards women in this country. The statistics are overwhelming. What is he doing about it? Nothing much. What about his wife, Brigitte? Couldn’t she get involved as spokesperson or head of a commission? Finding a solution seems to be low on the list of government priorities. I know, I know, we have the pressing problems of the gilets jaunes, the underfunded hospitals, the upcoming transportation strike scheduled for early December, the migrants and refugees and where to house them, radical Islam and a hundred other concerns. There’s just no time or budget set aside for the pesky problem of women being killed by their partners or ex-partners.
In mid-September, I wrote a blog post on this very same subject. The number of femicides for the year was 107. In October that number jumped to 116. Today, in November, the number is 131! What’s going on? Has femicide become an epidemic in this country? I’m starting to get really pissed off.
Femicide: the act of killing a woman, as by a domestic partner or a member of a criminal enterprise.
Femicide: a gender-based hate crime, broadly defined as “the intentional killing of females because they are females.”
Céline, Sarah, Clothilde, Eliane, Hélène, Denise, Ophélie, Martine are the names of some of the other women murdered by their current or former partners this year. There’s no law condemning femicide in France.
Up until just a few years ago the killing of a woman here was called – are you ready for this? – un crime passionnel (a crime of passion) – thereby letting the man off the hook.
Two weeks ago, 40-year-old Sylvia was fatally stabbed by her husband in the region of Alsace.
Sylvia’s death represents the 131st femicide since the beginning of this year, ten more than last year.
Yesterday a shocking report was published on the subject. Of the 88 cases of domestic violence studied in this investigative report by the Ministry of Justice, 80% of the complaints were dismissed. Dismissed? By who and why?
To be continued.
Last Sunday night at 11 pm, the daughter of Sylvia received a frantic phone call from her mother begging her to come over quick because her violent husband was stabbing her. The daughter immediately called the local police and told them what was happening. The daughter arrived in three minutes. The police, whose station is blocks away – and who were aware of the problem because Sylvia had already lodged formal complaints – took thirty minutes to show up. Too late, Sylvia was dead.
“No one wanted to listen,” says Stella the daughter, “No one wanted to help.”