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Coronavirus: France Lodges Women Facing Domestic Abuse In Hotels Amid Lockdown

Young women listen to a talk on domestic violence

The French government announced on Monday it would put victims of domestic violence in hotel rooms and finance pop-up counselling centres in grocery stores, amid a surge of reported domestic violence cases since the lockdown began on March 17 according to The Time.

Since France imposed strict measures prohibiting citizens from leaving their homes except to buy food or medication, to see a doctor, or to get exercise, France has witnessed a 36% increase in the number of reported domestic violence cases to the police in Paris and a 32% rise throughout the rest of France.

Two women have been killed since the lockdown began, in a country with higher rates of deaths by domestic violence compared to its European neighbors.

While the lockdown is currently in place until April 15, there is a high likelihood it will be extended, further jeopardizing the safety of victims of domestic violence.

The French Gender Equality Minister, Marlène Schiappa said the government would pay for 20,000 hotel nights for victims and put in place approximately 20 counseling centers at stores across the country in order for women to able to seek out help while they leave their home to run errands.

The French Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, announced on March 26 that victims of domestic violence could alert pharmacists if they are in danger.

The government also plans on giving anti-domestic abuse organizations an additional 1 million euros in funds to help them manage the increased demand for their services.

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