France Opens Hotline to Check Domestic Abuse, But It’s Reserved for Abusers Not Victims

AFP

France on Monday opened a hotline aimed at curtailing domestic abuse in families confined together during the coronavirus lockdown -- but the number is reserved for perpetrators, not victims.

The number will be open seven days a week from 09:00 am to 07:00 pm, France's Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa said on Twitter.

"Protect your family from violence: seek help at 08 019 019 11," she tweeted.

"Confinement affects the family and personal lives of everyone. This situation can sometimes create anxiety -- there are fewer outlets and, in certain families, homeschooling can exacerbate tensions," Schiappa said.

"There is no shame in calling," she added.

The hotline will be staffed by psychologists and other experts dealing with domestic violence.

The goal "is to allow people on the verge of committing violence, or already doing so, to find a sympathetic ear and to begin to work" on getting help, said Alain Legrand of the Fnacav association, which seeks to help abusers end their violence.

Those who seek help may be given temporary lodgings for the safety of their families.

"Call before you strike," Legrand said.

In France, some 210,000 women fall victim to domestic violence every year, but only about 18,500 perpetrators were found guilty in 2018 of abusing a partner or ex-partner.