France has launched its first helpline to offer support for the perpetrators of domestic abuse amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
France’s Secretary of Equality between women and men, Marlene Schiappa, made the announcement, saying: “The domestic violence prevention number opens today. Protect your family from violence: have someone accompany you at 08.019.019.11.”
She told local media: “Confinement hits everyone’s family and personal history. This situation sometimes creates anxiety, there are fewer vents and pressure relief valves, while in families, home schooling can sometimes exacerbate tensions.”
She added that there was “no shame in calling the number.”
The hotline is funded by the Delegation for Women’s Rights and managed by the National Federation in Support of Authors of Violence (Fnacav), and it is available Monday to Sunday from 9am to 7pm.
During the confinement period, 22 interveners, psychologists or specialists in the treatment of perpetrators of violence, will follow one another to listen and put callers in touch with one of the 36 member structures of the Fnacav.
They can receive up to three calls simultaneously.
Alain Legrand, president of Fnacav, said: “The goal is to allow people on the brink of violence, or already being violent, to call to find a listener and to start working on it.”
He appealed for callers to “call before hitting”.
Temporary accommodation solutions, in centres or in hotel rooms, may also be offered depending on the situation.
Every year over 210,000 women are victims of domestic abuse and less than one in five files a complaint, while in 2018, 18,591 people were convicted of violence against their partner or ex-partner, with 96 percent of those convicted being men.
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