Rape Victims in France Condemn Police Treatment

A rape victim was asked by police in Paris what she was wearing that fateful day, and why she didn’t fight back. Another woman was forced to touch herself to show how the sexual assault took place, to a police officer who was skeptical about her report.

The two are among thousands of French women who have strongly criticized police in the latest online campaign for a police response that blames women for rape or mishandles their reports.

Anma Toumazoff launched the hashtag #DoublePeine, or #DoubleSentencing, or #HukumanGanda after he learned how a 19-year-old woman who reported being raped in the southern city of Montpellier, was rudely asked back by the police whether she enjoyed the rape.

The hashtag quickly went viral, with many women describing similar experiences in Montpellier or police stations in other cities across France. French women’s rights group “NousToutes” counted at least 30,000 statements about the abuse that the Montpellier victim experienced in tweets and other messages posted on social media or certain websites.

Despite the recent training program for police in France and increasing awareness around violence against women, activists say the authorities must do more to tackle the diversity of sexual crimes, and to combat discrimination against victims.

Responding to the national issue, Home Affairs Minister Gerald Darmanin last week said “there are questions that cannot be asked of women when they come to submit reports.” He emphasized, “it is not within the police’s authority to say whether there is domestic violence or not, because that is the authority of the judge.”

He also announced an internal investigation into the police post in Montpellier.

Earlier there were criticisms of so-called “defaming statements” by the police, and that there was the dissemination of “false information” and “lies” to discredit the police.

Toumazoff denied launching an anti-police campaign, saying his hashtag was aimed at urging the government to take immediate action.

“By allowing incompetent and dangerous officers to work in police stations, the authorities are disgracing the entire profession,” he told Associated Press. [em/jm]

Check Also

China’s Military Power Is Expected To Overtake The US And Russia In The Near Future

A US military general warned that it was only a matter of time before China’s …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *