Amnesty urges France to act on home violence

8th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 8, 2006 (AFP) - Rights group Amnesty International urged France on Wednesday to do more to tackle the "scandal" of French domestic violence, which claims the life of a woman every four days.

PARIS, Feb 8, 2006 (AFP) - Rights group Amnesty International urged France on Wednesday to do more to tackle the "scandal" of French domestic violence, which claims the life of a woman every four days.

In a new report, Amnesty International criticised the government for a lack of training among the police, the judiciary, doctors and social workers in preventing and dealing with domestic violence.

Overall, it charged, the French judiciary had been "timid" in tackling violent domestic abuse, which was believed to afflict one in 10 women.

Victims were poorly informed of their rights, Amnesty said, and those who dared to speak out were often not given shelter and financial support to protect them from abusive partners.

Amnesty also urged France to pay special attention to immigrant victims of domestic violence, who may fear losing their residency rights by denouncing a violent partner.

"Until this violence... is fully recognised by the state as something that affects the whole of society, it will not stop," charged the report's author Prune de Montvalon.

"Slow and complex" legal procedures discouraged victims from coming forward, the report said, deploring a lack of consistency between judicial services in different French regions.

France last month adopted a law aimed at fighting domestic violence, forced marriages and genital mutilations, introducing stiffer penalties for domestic abusers and raising the age of marital consent for women from 15 to 18.

The legislation also made genital mutilations, including those carried out abroad, on individuals who normally reside in France, punishable by law within a 20 year statute of limitations.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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