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France’s #MeToo: 1 in 8 women raped

An opinion poll shows that one in every eight French women has been raped at least once in her lifetime, as French women increasingly break their silence in the their own version of the #MeToo campaign.

#MeToo started on Twitter in the wake of unnerving revelations over the recent months of sexual violence against women by men reigning over the cinema industry’s stratosphere, most notoriously, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Sandra Muller, a US-based French journalist, proceeded then to create the French version of the campaign, namely #balancetonporc (Expose your pig), encouraging women to reveal the names of those who had sexually abused them.

A study by the Paris-based think tank Fondation Jean Jaurès surveyed 2,167 women over the age of 18 online between February 6 and 16, The Independent reported on Saturday. The body said it sought to research the effect sexual misconduct was having on French women, saying it had become a “major public health issue.”

One-eighths of the participants admitted to having experienced “penetrative sexual violence,” amounting to roughly 12 percent of the country’s entire female population, or four million, according to the poll.

The majority of the respondents also said they had been affected multiple times and by different types of harassment.

More than half (58 percent) said they had suffered inappropriate behavior, with 43 percent claiming they had been touched without their consent.

Marlène Schiappa, France’s minister for gender equality, has proposed a fine of €5,000 for abusers.

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