Gérald Darmanin announced new measures aimed at simplifying the filing of complaints from victims of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault.
Since the end of September, shocking testimonies have been pouring in en masse on social networks. Their content? Many women denounce the poor reception received in police stations when they file a complaint for domestic violence, rape or sexual assault. Faced with the extent of the use of the hashtag “double penalty”, the Executive decided to react. During a trip to Avignon and Carpentras this Thursday, October 21, the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin and Marlène Schiappa have unveiled new measures to help victims. “The quality of treatment of these facts must be a priority”, they explained.
Among these new measures addressed to all the prefects in an official document, and mentioned by the ministers, the reception of victims will have to be done day and night, and at any time. In addition, women who so wish may request to be accompanied by a lawyer. Although his presence will not be compulsory, it cannot be refused by the police responsible for filing a complaint. Contacted by AFP, the lawyer Me Rachel-Flore Pardo believes that this “Should allow victims to lodge a complaint in better conditions, from the next few days”.
Strengthen the training of investigators
Another important measure is to inform victims about the possibility of psychological care. “The examination in a medico-judicial unit must be systematically considered when a victim comes forward to denounce acts of sexual abuse”. The same goes for information sharing “Regular” on the progress of the procedure. Finally, the prefects are asked to strengthen the training of investigators to ensure the “Good level of experience” police for “Taking charge of and conducting hearings”.
In some French departments such as Vaucluse or Sarthe, victims can already file a complaint outside the police stations. “The gendarmes and police will go to other people, to the person’s home, to a friend of this person, to a town hall, or to a law firm, to take the complaint on the spot and not just in a police station”, specifies the document. The goal is to promote “Confidentiality and serenity” as the ministers recall. According to official figures from the Ministry of the Interior, 102 women and 23 men died under the blows of a spouse or ex-spouse in 2020.