At least 267,000 people were sexually abused while riding public transportation in France over a two-year period of time, according to a “low estimate” released Wednesday by the country’s crime data agency ONDRP.
ONDRP made the estimate for the years 2014 and 2015 after reviewing thousands of interviews dating back to 2008, newspaper Le Figaro reports. Almost half, 44 percent, said they suffered “several acts of the same nature.”
Close to 160,000 people were victims of unwanted gestures such as kissing, stroking and in some cases rape while 110,000 experienced someone exposing themselves. More than 7 percent of women in the Paris region aged 18 to 21 said they had been victims of sexual abuse.
President Emmanuel Macron marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in November by promising “to fight for the non-negotiable equality of both sexes” during his first term in office. Measures include a ban on “gender-based insults” and “on demand” bus stops where women can stop a bus anywhere to make their way home safely. (RELATED: France Set To Make ‘Gender-Based Insults’ Illegal)
“Let’s seal a pact of equality between men and women,” Macron said. “It is essential that shame changes camp. Gender-based insults will be punishable by law. Offenders will face a deterrent fine.”
The government also wants to introduce an age of consent to make it easier to punish people who have sex with minors.
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