Friday, May 20

Society. Blows, rapes, threats, harassment… sexism strikes above all within the couple

Free speech continues. In a study on the victims of sexism in France, the ministerial statistical service for internal security (SSMSI) notes an increase of 8%, in 2020, in the number of victims of sexism recorded by the police and gendarmes in France. In total, 228,514 people reported facts of all kinds: discrimination, insults, violence, sexual assault, harassment, the nomenclature going as far as rape, pimping and murder or assassination.

However, this increase is less marked than that of the previous year. In 2019, following the Weinstein case and the #MeToo movement, the number of victims of sexist offenses had jumped by 15%. The year 2020, marked by the start of the health crisis, also shows a sharp drop in reports during the first confinement in the spring (-21%) immediately followed by a very sharp increase (+29% in June).

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of victims are women: 86% in 2020, or 197,000 people.

In the couple, physical violence represents one in two victims

The figures published by the SSMSI confirm this: it is in the conjugal sphere that women are most exposed to sexist offences.

Thus 71% of these victims, i.e. almost three quarters, report domestic violence. These are 163,050 people, a figure up 11% compared to 2019.

Physical violence with minor injuries (total interruption of work zero or less than 8 days) represents half of the offenses committed in the marital setting (49% exactly), ahead of threats. And the most serious domestic violence (ITT greater than 8 days) is down 6% but still represents more than 4,000 victims in 2020, 92% of whom are women.

The taboo of marital rape

Following the general trend, the number of victims of marital rape committed in the weeks preceding their denunciation increased by 9% in 2020. But this increase is more moderate than in 2019 (+20%). In addition, the proportion of facts denounced dating back to one or more years is on the rise.

More generally, records of rape and attempted rape within the couple, which remain a taboo, explode: +27% in 2020. This represents 4,800 victims, 98% of whom are women. Among the facts denounced, the share of those who are considered “old” has become the majority (62%). This phenomenon is “constantly increasing”, notes the SSMSI, in connection with the freedom of speech.

Victims of marital rape represent approximately 19% of all rape victims recorded by the police and gendarmes. These were nearly 21,000 in 2020.

Overseas and Ile-de-France very affected by domestic violence

From a geographical point of view, it is the Paris region (in particular Seine-Saint-Denis) and the overseas territories which have the highest rates of victims of violence within the couple. But several departments of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Hauts-de-France are also marked by these facts, as well as the Doubs.

Nationally, France has five victims of domestic violence per 1,000 inhabitants. 87% of them are women.

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