PARIS (AP) — In Paris and in cities across France, the signs are everywhere. “Complaints ignored, women killed” and “She leaves him, he kills her,” they read, in black block letters pasted onto stately municipal buildings.
Under cover of night, activists have glued posters to the walls to draw attention to domestic violence, a problem French President Emmanuel Macron has called “France’s shame.” Their targets include Paris’ central courthouse and other buildings across the French capital.
Some of the women posting signs have experienced domestic violence themselves, others feel privileged that they have not and so feel the need to do something to highlight the issue.
More than 130 women have been killed by current or former partners in France this year alone, according to activists. That’s one woman every three days.
Domestic violence rates in France are higher than those in many other European countries, and activists say authorities often fail to protect women.
Now, the government has begun to act. On Monday, it will announce measures that are expected to include seizing firearms from people suspected of domestic violence and prioritizing police training.
Meanwhile, activists are planning a mass demonstration in Paris Saturday to keep up the pressure.