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Domestic Violence Up 15% in France

More than 244,000 victims of domestic violence were recorded in 2022, mostly women, an increase of 15% compared to the previous year, the French Ministry of the Interior announced on Thursday, reports French media source France 24 this Friday.

This 15% annual increase is “close to the average annual rate of change observed since 2019,” observed the Internal Security Statistical Service (SSMSI) in a press release.

The source reports that overall, 86% of victims of reported violence are women, and 87% of perpetrators are men.

“In a context of freedom of speech and improved conditions for the reception of victims by police and gendarmerie services,” the number of victims reporting violence by their partner or ex-partner has “doubled since 2016,” observes this service.

From the perspective of both the ministry and of women’s rights associations, these figures indicate that in all likelihood, victims have become less reluctant to report violence, as opposed to an actual exacerbation of the phenomenon.

However, two-thirds of reports detail physical violence; i.e., violence that leaves bruises, lesions or broken bones.

Criminal physical violence (homicide, torture, or acts of barbarism) “remains very rare,” comprising less than 1% of the overall reporting for the offense, notes the Ministry.

In 2022, 145 conjugal murders were recorded in France, including 118 femicides, four fewer than in 2021, according to a report published at the beginning of September.

According to a “victimization survey,” which targeted a large representative sample of the population, around 0.6% of 18-74 year-olds (0.9% of women and 0.2% of men) say they were victims of physical, sexual or psychological violence by their spouse or ex-spouse in 2020.

However, only a quarter of these victims said they had reported the incident to the police or gendarmerie.