• Women For Women France

WFWF joins leading voices to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Women for Women France (WFWF) joined voices around the world to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25 November 2020, highlighting the challenges of foreign-born people facing domestic abuse in France.

In a year marred by the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, WFWF CEO Sarah McGrath appeared on the national network France 24, highlighting the ‘pandemic within the pandemic’ of domestic abuse.

McGrath noted that during the first weeks of the Spring lockdown in France, reports of domestic violence jumped 36% in Paris and 32% in regional France. Use of the government's online police chat service for domestic violence jumped 500% above average. The figures remained high during the two national lockdowns.

When asked about accessibility to existing services in France, McGrath said: “It is already a difficult system for French women experiencing domestic violence to understand. There are a lot of rights, there are a lot of measures, but trying to navigate such a complex system … it’s almost impossible to find information in foreign languages in France. It is a really big hole.”

In 2019, in partnership with experts, organisations in the field, and survivors, WFWF developed a program of four integrated projects, to be delivered over three years. This includes a multi-language online resource centre for victims of domestic violence, and professionals, which is an essential service according to WFWF.

“Our first project is to get important information, life-saving information, to people who can’t speak French.”

Watch the full interview here.