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FEMICIDE: French PM promises new measures against spousal murder

The French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, on Monday, promised a series of new measures to prevent spousal murders.

The announcement came two days after tens of thousands of protesters marched in Paris and elsewhere, demanding an end to what activists have termed “femicide” or the killing of women.

A man holds a banner reading “No woman will be killed in my name” during the “One Nation, One Voice” campaign to remove the scourge of child abuse, femicide and other social ills facing all communities in South Africa on June 30, 2018 in Durban. / AFP PHOTO / RAJESH JANTILAL

Government figures show that 121 women and 28 men were killed by their partner or ex-partner in 2018.

Closing a two-month consultation process on tackling domestic violence, Philippe denounced what he said was the silence “of those, who want to see and hear nothing so as not to have problems”.

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There was also a “collective silence about failures that we have until today, not wanted to be aware of,’’ he said.

“These forms of silence, kill.’’

“The way our whole society looks at this must change,’’ Philippe said, promising education on the topic in schools and compulsory sexual equality training for teachers.

But he admitted that “everyone is aware that this will be a slow process,’’ promising a range of more immediate measures, including extra social workers to support police and centres across France for rehabilitating those guilty of domestic violence.

Also, among the 30 measures announced are changes to facilitate doctors in passing on information about women at immediate risk, despite patient confidentiality requirements.

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Philippe said that the recent focus on the issue has raised awareness, with calls to a hotline for victims rising from an average of 150 to 600 days since the consultation process started.

(DPA/NAN

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