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France Pass New Law On Street Harassment Days After Video Of Woman Being Attacked Goes Viral

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France Pass New Law On Street Harassment Days After Video Of Woman Being Attacked Goes Viral

The French government has voted to introduce on-the-spot fines for sexual harassment in public places.

The new law will see fines between €90-750 (£80-670) being handed out for gender-based harassment on the streets and on public transport, which will come into effect in September, reports Buzzfeed.

The law was passed amid widespread outrage over footage of a 22-year-old woman being assaulted in broad daylight outside a Parisian cafe.

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Marie Laguerre was making her way back to her home in north-east Paris, when she claimed a man started making crude comments and noises at her.

When she told the man to shut up, Marie said he threw an ashtray at her.

The ashtray missed Marie, which is when the man in the video is seen approaching her and physically assaulting her.

The incident was caught on the cafe's CCTV and was posted online by Marie herself earlier this week.

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Credit: YouTube /  Marie Laguerre
Credit: YouTube / Marie Laguerre

Under the video, she wrote: "Last night, as I was coming back home in Paris, I walked past a man who sexually/verbally harassed me.

"He wasn't the first one and I can't accept being humiliated like that, so I replied 'shut up'.

"He then threw an ashtray at me, before rushing back to punch me, in the middle of the street, in front of dozens of people.

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"This is an unacceptable behaviour. It happens every day, everywhere and I don't know a single woman who doesn't have a similar story.

"I am sick of feeling unsafe walking in the street.

"Things need to change, and they need to change now."

Credit: YouTube / Marie Laguerre
Credit: YouTube / Marie Laguerre
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The legislation, which will allow police officers to hand out on-the-spot fines, was backed by 90 percent of the French public, an IFOP poll found.

Gender Equality Minister and architect of the new legislation, Marlene Schiappa, spoke to Europe 1 Radio about the new law, saying: "Harassment in the street has previously not been punished. From now on, It will be."

The new legislation will outlaw sexual or sexist comments (including cat calling), and degrading, intimidating or hostile behaviour. It will also expand the criminal definition of child rape and will extend the statue of limitations for sex crimes.

Featured Image Credit: YouTube / Marie Laguerre

Topics: Paris, World News, sexual harassment

Megan Walsh

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