Woman tells how she was 'attacked for wearing a skirt' in Strasbourg

Kit Heren
·2-min read
Getty Images
Getty Images

A French woman has said she was punched in the face in broad daylight for wearing a skirt.

Police have launched an investigation into the alleged incident, which took place in the eastern city of Strasbourg last Friday.

The woman, 22, a student known only as Elisabeth, said she was attacked by three men in their early 20s "who complained about me wearing a skirt".

The French government has condemned the alleged attack as "very serious".

A woman cycling in Strasbourg (Getty Images)
A woman cycling in Strasbourg (Getty Images)

Elisabeth told local outlet France Bleue Alsace radio that she was walking home when three men approached her, saying "look at that whore in a skirt."

Two of the three alleged attackers then grabbed her, allowing the third to hit her in the face and give her a black eye, she told the station.

The men ran away after the attack, Elisabeth said. Several passers-by saw what happened but no one intervened.

"That's what disgusts me most about this whole situation," she added.

France passed a law against street harassment in 2018. About 1,800 fines have been handed out since then.

The country's interior minister Marlene Schiappa visited Strasbourg on Wednesday and told France Bleu Alsace that "the skirt is not responsible for the attack and the woman even less".

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"A woman is never hit because she wears a skirt. A woman is hit because there are people who are misogynistic, sexist, violent, and who free themselves from any law and any rule of civility by striking them.

"When you're a student and you have to think about the outfit you have to wear and the message it sends, it's an overwhelming mental load," Ms Schiappa said.

Elisabeth has said she is not scared and will continue to wear skirts.

"It could have been much worse," she said. "Life is so short, there are so many beautiful things happening. We must not let ourselves be defeated and now be afraid to go out, be afraid to put on a skirt."

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