Everyone has the right to feel safe. Women for Women France aims to ensure that anyone experiencing domestic violence in France, regardless of their language proficiency or country of origin, is supported, protected, and can access and assert their rights.
Domestic violence is typically thought to refer to physical assault, however, it can take many other forms, including sexual, psychological, administrative, and economic abuse. It can affect anyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabilities, religion, beliefs, or professional and economic situation.
Although domestic violence is not exclusively a gendered crime, it overwhelmingly affects women. The French government estimates that each year, 220,000 women aged 18 to 75 are confronted with sexual and/or physical violence from their partner or ex-partner, yet only 19% make a formal complaint (source). These estimates exclude women under 18 and over 75, abuse perpetrated against men and non-binary people, and other forms of domestic violence, such as administrative, economic or psychological abuse. The true extent of domestic violence in France has not been measured.
The plight of foreign-born women in France when confronted with domestic violence
There are 3.3 million foreign-born women living in France, representing nearly 10% of the total female population (source). Women who immigrate to France may experience social isolation, loss of social and/or professional situation and can be at risk of financial and administrative dependence on their partners. These factors can make foreign-born women particularly vulnerable to domestic violence.
The obstacles and challenges for foreign-born people confronted with domestic violence are significant, including but not limited to:
limited knowledge of local administrative and judicial systems
international legal complexities relating to divorce and child custody
immigration status and administrative dependence.
The collective ADFEM, which incorporates several French organisations that offer services to women and/or immigrants, has referred to the challenge faced by this demographic as "double violence”; first domestic, then institutional.
The needs of foreign-born people facing domestic violence in France are not
there is limited information about help and services available in languages other than French
there are significant barriers to accessing information regarding rights, and exercising those rights through
administrative and judicial avenues
services offer specialised support, with little or no inter-service coordination
support services and programs are not equally accessible
across all regions in France.
The solutions proposed by Women for Women France
Our program will offer people facing domestic violence a comprehensive and coordinated solution that recognises their specific challenges and needs.
Women for Women France will fight against the exclusion of foreign-born people, help them to assert their rights, rebuild a life in France, and thrive.
A program rolled out over three years
Informed by experts, research, and survivors, Women for Women France developed a program centered around four nation-wide projects to be delivered over the next three years.