Women in France rally against domestic abuse after 116 die in acts of violence

Tens of thousands of people marched through Paris and other French cities Saturday to speak out against domestic violence in France, where a women is killed by her partner every two or three days.

Calls to protest by the #NousToutes collective – made up of 70 political parties, unions and other organisations – brought a large turnout onto the streets to demand France take more meaningful steps to prevent sexual violence and femicide.

Wearing purple – the adopted colour of feminist struggles – large numbers of protesters trekked to Paris for a major march through the city, from the Place de l’Opera to the Place de la Nation.

More than 30 marches were also held in other cities including Lille, Marseille, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Rennes and Strasbourg.

The demonstrations come two days before President Emmanuelle Macron’s government unveils new measures to tackle the problem following a three-month “grenelle”, or national forum.

Stepping up police training and seizing firearms from people suspected of domestic violence are expected to be among the measures.

France has one of Europe’s highest rates of domestic violence and, so far this year, 116 women have already been killed by their current or former partners.

Official figures show that every year in France some 213,000 women are victims of physical and/or sexual violence by their partners. This is nearly 1 percent of women aged 18 to 75.