A Man Was Charged With a $300 Fine in Paris For Sexual Harassment

 

            Last Friday a man followed and threw horrid insults at a woman aboard a bus in a Paris suburb. He was charged 300 euros, about $350 US dollars, courtesy of a new law against verbal sexual harassment. On top of that, the round of judges involved with the case sentenced the man nine months imprisonment, six of it suspended due to physically assaulting the woman and the bus driver. The man, who appeared to be intoxicated, came up behind the woman and grabbed her behind while talking nonsense and saying inappropriate comments in her ear. “The woman then proceeded to the front of the bus to let the driver know what was happening. The driver attempted to intervene, and the stranger punched him, which resulted in the driver shutting the doors of the bus and calling the police for further precautions.”, recalled The New York Times. Based on the man’s behavior, the judges also requested that he undergo treatment for alcohol abuse. The law against verbal sexual harassment, which was put into effect in August, rose from the wide range of complaints from the women in France that have experienced such abuse. Not only verbal, but domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, and discrimination are serious issues that remain in France. The seed that was planted as the motive of cultivating such a law was a video that went viral this summer of a man hitting a woman on a Paris sidewalk after she told him to stop hackling her. The numbers that France are showing with such problems are at a new high. The local FR states that, “A new survey reveals that more than one in two French women have been victims of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault. The study comes as a flurry of women are stepping forward to reveal their high-profile aggressors including ex-government ministers. The survey, carried out by polling institute Odoxa for Le Figaro and Franceinfo, revealed that a massive 53 percent of French women have experienced sexual harassment and/or assault at least once in their lives.”.

This statistic makes one wonder about ones’ own region and what kind of numbers exist. “Back in October 2017, women took to social media to share their experiences of sexual harassment. The #MeToo movement went viral, spurring a national and global discussion on the issue.”, states the NPR. They continued by mentioning that “Now an online survey that launched in January by a nonprofit called Stop Street Harassment offers some evidence. It found that 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men had experienced some form of sexual harassment during their lifetime.”. This is also proof that the stigma of women only being harassed is not the case, men are just as vulnerable to sexual harassment regardless of women being in the higher number ranges of such abuse. In Miami, catcalling is more like a sport, to see who can catch a woman’s attention the quickest or to see how many heads turn to the source of the insult. According to the FCASV, “41.8% of women, or 3,111,000, in Florida have been victimized by sexual violence other than rape. 20.4% of men, or 1,437,000 men, in Florida have been victimized by sexual violence other than rape.” Along with this forcible fondling, inappropriate and non-consented touching, in 2015, the most recent statistic available, was reported at 3,195 and total sexual offenses reported at 10,732. The fact that there aren’t any currently available statistics, for Florida at least, signifies the lack of reporting both verbal and non-verbal sexual harassment. It is a wide known fact that many individuals in Florida on college campuses, general educational institutions, and on the street make the decision of remaining silent when they are harassed sexually due to being embarrassed or being scared of confrontation.

Sexual misconduct, whether it is verbally, physically, or a mere brush up behind someone with every wrong intention, is something that should never be ignored nor be feared of speaking out about. France implementing a law like this is a true example and influence on other countries who struggle with this wide-known issue, and every country that has their numbers high on sexual assault cases need to start taking action to fix this problem. If you or someone you know is going through a scenario of sexual harassment in Florida, the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, despite the name, the FCASV doesn’t merely offer help to those of violent cases but to those with emotional and general harassment cases as well. Their number is (850)-297-2000 and their email is: [email protected]. Don’t be afraid to speak up.