Flags at half mast, white banners… Paris commemorates the victims of feminicide

A ceremony every year for women killed by their spouse and all victims of feminicide. This is one of the commitments made by the town hall last week in the Council of Paris, and which will begin to be applied this year, on November 25, on the occasion of the International Day against violence against women. .

This initiative follows a wish submitted by ecologists and in particular Councilor Raphaëlle Rémy-Leleu. The text revised by the executive provides that in addition to this annual ceremony, “Paris City Hall is adorned with banners in memory of the victims” and “invites the district town halls to promote symbolic and memorial actions of the same order”.

“The banners will be seen from afar and that’s what counts”

This will be the case this year for banners and initiatives in town halls. According to our information, flags will be lowered or minutes of silence will be organized in the 20th, in Paris Center, as well as in the 11th and 12th arrondissements. But the deadline was too short according to the town hall to organize a big ceremony, like the one organized during the summer of 2019, during which the actress Eva Darlan had listed the names of the victims and the mayor of Paris had spoken on the square.

Initially the wish asked for “the lowering of the flags of municipal buildings” but the town hall considered that it was “not in the protocols”, in the words of the assistant for gender equality Hélène Bidard, contacted by 20 minutes. “It is legally possible and there is tolerance but for us it is not a subject. The banners will be seen from afar and that’s what counts, ”says the elected official. “Half-masting is a tool that has a strong and universal value, and it could potentially be done in all villages in France, to send a message to all women who experience violence,” regrets Raphaëlle Rémy-Leleu.

“Not all violence is visible”

In addition to banners and other actions in district town halls, the city has launched a communication campaign on the consequences of violence on women’s health, which highlights the psychological effects. “Not all violence is visible,” reads the campaign poster, which will be displayed in libraries, social action centers, sexual health centers and billboards across the city for two weeks starting November 25. Postcards with the same image and useful contacts will also be distributed in all public reception areas.

The visual of the Paris City Hall campaign
The visual of the Paris City Hall campaign – Jeanne Louvet

“Professionals who see blows and bruises must ask the question of violence to the women concerned, but we also want the question to be asked when it is not physically visible”, summarizes Hélène Bidard.

Complaints up 25%

This year the City of Paris is dedicating half a million euros to associations fighting against violence against women, a budget “increasing for more than four years” according to Hélène Bidard. But for the assistant, “that’s not enough, we can’t be the only ones to increase these subsidies. We have a number of violence on the increase, it is massive. And faced with this, we have no increase in the state budget or the personnel dedicated to the police, justice or associations”.

According to Hélène Bidard, the number of complaints of sexual violence filed in Paris has increased by 25% this year compared to 2021.

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