Jun 18

‘Half of French women’ alter clothes to avoid harassment:

One in two women in France will choose trousers over a skirt to avoid becoming the victim of sexual harassment on public transport, a new survey has revealed.

Not only that but nearly 90 percent of respondents say they have experienced harassment in some shape or form when on public transport.

According to a study of over 6,000 people by the National Federation of Association of Transport Users (Fnaut), women’s fear of harassment significantly changes their behaviour on public transport in France.

Some 48 percent of those questioned said they would change what they’re wearing when they travel by Metro, bus or train, opting for trousers or using a scarf to hide cleavage.

A similar amount said that they do not use public transport at certain times, especially in the evenings, to avoid harassment and 34 percent opt to cycle or take a taxi or car to avoid it all together.

Some 87 percent of women, a figure described as an “unfortunate reality” by Fnaut, have experienced harassment on public transport, including whistling or cat calling, intrusive questions, insults, threats and sexual assault.

The issue has long been the subject of campaigns by women’s rights in France led by Osez le Feminisme.

“The problem is that harassment on public transport has basically been trivialized. The figures are shocking. It exists everywhere but its something young foreign women notice when they come to Paris,” Margaux Collet, the group’s spokeswoman told The Local previously.

Despite the fact that many of these reported cases (86 percent) in the study took place in the presence of witnesses, victims said that in the vast majority of cases (89 percent), no one stepped in to help.

Despite government campaigns to put a stop to the serious issue of sexual harassment on public transport, it remains a depressingly familiar reality in France.

One 26-year-old woman, who spoke to The Local on the condition of anonymity, said that Paris was the worst city she’d lived in when it came to sexual harassment.

“The men in Paris take a lot of liberties… it’s like they don’t really care what they say or how it might make someone feel,” she told The Local.
“Sometimes I deliberately change train carriages if there are lots of men. I’d rather not put myself in a situation where I’m alone with only men because I know what would happen.”

She said men on the Paris Metro will often change seats to sit next to her and start a conversation, leaving her feeling cornered.

Sometimes, it’s not just words. She explained that one man who appeared drunk grabbed her arm and then her bottom.
“I didn’t report it, I just went away. I’m kind of used to it in Paris. It’s not like this anywhere else I’ve been.”

Despite government campaigns to put a stop to the serious issue of sexual harassment on public transport, it remains a depressingly familiar reality in France.

An awareness campaign “Stop- that’s enough” was launched last November in Paris in an active push by the government, rail operator SNCF and Paris transport chiefs RATP to stop harassment on public transport.

Last summer the government also unveiled a series of measures aimed at cracking down on harassment.

These included new digital tools to report harassment, including text alerts, training of transport staff to improve empathy with victims and to prevent sexist imagery being displayed on adverts on the transport network

However, in light of this new survey, it seems France still has a long way to go to improve the issue.

Already this year, an American art student being sexually assaulted on the Paris Metro hit the headlines in May and two men were jailed for an attempted gang rape on a Paris train.

In another case, a pervert was jailed in January for specially

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3 Responses to “‘Half of French women’ alter clothes to avoid harassment”

  1. henk korbee Says:

    Still denying that it is happening all the time by Arab speaking men. It will not be the first time in history that a multicultural society collaps due to the dominance of one group of people.

  2. henk korbee Says:

    Forgotten to mention that a lot of advertisements of europeans/americans in which women always are used as an object only to be sexed, is basicly the same as what arabs are doing in public domain against women.

  3. Billy Says:

    This is absurd! Where the fuck are all the real men to protect anyone being attacked? ????????

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