PARIS – A rape victim was questioned by the Parisian police about what she was wearing that day and why she was not fighting more. Another woman was forced to fondle herself to demonstrate sexual assault to a skeptical police officer.
They are among the thousands of French women who denounced in a new online campaign the shocking reaction of the police officers blaming them or mistreating their complaints while they denounced sexual abuse.
The hashtag #DoublePeine (#DoubleSentencing) was launched last month by Anna Toumazoff after learning that a 19-year-old woman who had filed a rape complaint in the southern city of Montpellier had been asked by the police in graphic terms if she enjoyed the assault.
The hashtag quickly went viral, with women describing similar experiences in Montpellier and other police stations across France. The French women’s rights group NousToutes has counted at least 30,000 accounts of abuse in tweets and other messages sent on social networks and on a specific website.
Despite recent French police training programs and growing awareness of violence against women, activists say authorities need to do more to address the seriousness of sex crimes and eradicate discrimination against women. ‘regard to the victims.
Addressing the national issue last week, Home Secretary Gerald Darmanin said “there are questions that cannot be asked of women when they come to file a complaint.”
“It is not for the police to say whether there has been domestic violence or not, it is for the judge to do so,” he added.
He also announced an internal investigation at the Montpellier police station.