Protesters rally in Corsica against sexual violence

AFP , Sunday 21 Jun 2020

Some 300 people took part in demonstrations on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica Sunday, the latest in a string of protests in France against rape and violence against women.

Protestors in Bastia rallied near the city's courthouse with signs that read "no is no" and "let's educate our sons", and chanting "we are strong, we are proud" and "feminists and radicals are angry".

The demonstration was organised as local women opened up about their experiences of abuse and rape, using the viral hashtag "#Iwas" on social media.

"The words have just come flooding out," said a 22-year-old protester during the demonstration, pointing out that many women in Corsica did not dare to file a police complaint because they were often "afraid of the attacker or his family".

Demonstrations against sexual abuse and femicide have been held across France over the past year, prompting the government to announce new measures in November to combat violence against women.

One woman is killed in France every three days by their partner or ex-partner, while marital violence affects 220,000 Frenchwomen every year, according to government figures released last year.

But in 2018, only about 18,500 perpetrators were found guilty of abusing a partner or ex-partner.

During the lockdown against the coronavirus, French groups monitoring the problem reported a surge in domestic abuse.

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