Financial assistance for these victims is needed but still incomplete

JACQUES DEMARTHON / AFP Telephone platform listener 3919, the single calling number for women victims of domestic violence.


Telephone platform listener 3919, the single calling number for women victims of domestic violence.

VIOLENCE – Help to leave the house and avoid domestic violence. Adopted unanimously in the Senate, then in the National Assembly in its first reading this Monday, January 16, Senator Valérie Létard’s (UDI) bill aims to make “universal emergency assistance” for victims of domestic and family violence who want to leave their homes.

In the first place, what did he foresee? This is an emergency down payment of an amount still to be determined by decision. A loan to be paid by the National Family Allowance Fund (CAF) in three monthly installments to the victim, with the first payment two days after the request, to allow the victim to leave the assailant’s home as quickly as possible. Then, for six months, he will also benefit from RSA.

this help “aims to fill a real gap, when victims of domestic violence have difficulty breaking free from the grip of their abusive partner, due to financial dependency”, revealed Valérie Létard during her UDI niche in the Senate. The device is tested in the Nord department. The final adoption of the text must be made without difficulty in the coming weeks, then promulgated within a maximum period of nine months.

In 2021, 122 women were killed by their partners (20% increase compared to 2020). According to the association, many victims of violence are forced to return to the marriage home after leaving it, for reasons of financial dependency.

Economic violence

The bill is generally supported by associations for the defense of women’s rights. ” This may for the first time question the financial resources of women victims of violence.” according to Floriane Valt, of the Women’s Foundation, asked French Inter, for whom are the costs associated with this violence “unthinkable”. According to the National Federation of Solidarités Femmes, which maintains the emergency telephone line 3919, a quarter of women victims of domestic violence are victims of economic violence.

However, the initial text had some limitations. First of all, initially it was not aid per se but a loan, which then had to be repaid. A choice criticized by some elected Nupes, who have tried, in vain, to change the text in the Senate. ” This tool is not effective for precarious victims, who have lost their jobs or seen their assets confiscated by their spouse. said Pascale Martin (LFI) during a text examination at the committee, last December.

In the version adopted in the Assembly, this loan could be converted for the most critical to a donation, thanks to a government amendment. And if the assistance will be provided in the form of a loan, then the reimbursement will be the responsibility of the person found guilty of committing violence if necessary, subject to additional punishment. “compensation obligation” dedicated in the Criminal Code.

An amendment to the Socialist group, adopted in the Senate, expanded the system “domestic violence “. But the Nupes proposal was to his advantage “particularly calculated by taking into account the number of child dependents for the beneficiary” has been rejected.

Place to stay

Another limitation of the bill, the provision of this assistance will be conditional on a protection order, filing a complaint or a report addressed to the public prosecutor. However, not all victims of domestic violence file complaints. Amendment from environmental group in Senate, rejected, proposed” to expand the number of professionals authorized to observe acts of psychological and physical violence”, and includes general practitioners, emergency physicians, gynecologists, psychologists or psychiatrists and social workers.

The police and gendarmerie services recorded 208,000 victims of domestic violence in 2021, a 21% increase compared to 2020, according to data from the Ministry of Home Affairs’ statistical service (SSMSI). Number of fact records held “almost doubled since 2016, in the context of free speech and improved conditions for receiving victims by police and gendarmerie services”. However, many victims remain silent.

An additional drawback: at this stage it is not planned that this assistance will be accessible to women in irregular situations in the region. The lack of emergency accommodation, despite the progress made in recent years, also remains a concern. In a report published in 2021, the Women’s Foundation estimates that ” 4 out of 10 women victims of violence ask for it [n’avaient] there is no accommodation solution”. The government has created another 1,000 places in 2020, 2021, and 2022, bringing the total to around 8,800. But we are still far from the estimated needs ” 15,000 seats » last year by the Women’s Foundation.

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