Street harassment in France: a Strasbourg woman attacked “for wearing a skirt”

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French police have opened an investigation after a woman in Strasbourg said she was assaulted in broad daylight for wearing a skirt.

The student, identified only as Elisabeth, 22, said she was hit in the face “by three individuals who complained about my skirt”.

The government denounced this “very serious” incident as unacceptable.

Around 1,800 fines were imposed

since a law against street harassment was passed in 2018.

In an interview with France Bleu Alsace radio station, Elisabeth said she was walking home when one of the three men said, “Look at that bitch in a skirt. “

Two of the three men then held her while the third punched her in the face, leaving her with one black eye, she told the station. The men then fled.

She said more than a dozen people witnessed the incident, but no one intervened.

Young Interior Minister Marlene Schiappa – who is in charge of citizenship and previously in charge of equality issues – visited the eastern city to discuss women’s safety in public on Wednesday .

She told France Bleu Alsace that “the skirt is not responsible for the attack and the woman even less”.

“A woman is never hit because she is wearing a skirt. A woman is hit because there are misogynistic, sexist, violent people who break free from all laws and all rules of civility by hitting them.

“When you’re a student and you have to think about what outfit you need to wear and the message it sends, it’s an overwhelming mental load,” Ms. Schiappa said.

She also urged people to call the police if they witness incidents of street harassment against women in a public space.

On Thursday, France Bleu Alsace reported that two women were assaulted on Wednesday in another eastern town, Mulhouse, after a man told one of them that her skirt was “too short” .

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