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Femicides in France rose by a fifth in 2019 with 146 women killed

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By Alice Tidey
Women hold placards as they march against domestic violence, in Paris, Saturday, Nov, 23, 2019.
Women hold placards as they march against domestic violence, in Paris, Saturday, Nov, 23, 2019.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Thibault Camus

The number of women killed by their partner or ex-partner in France rose by a fifth in 2019.

Figures released by the country's Interior Ministry on Monday show that 146 women lost their lives in 2019, up from 121 the previous year. On average, one woman died every two days.

Twenty-five children also died as a result of violence in the household, up from 21 in 2018.

The number of men killed, meanwhile, remained stable with 27 deaths recorded last year compared to 28 the previous year.

The study released by the authorities says that men were the perpetrators in 88 per cent of cases and that weapons were used in 68 per cent of cases.

The issue was widely reported in France last year when NGOs raised the alarm about the rise in femicides, urging the government to take action to derail the trend.

An extraordinary governmental summit on domestic violence was convened which led to a new law to strengthen protection for victims.

Passed by both chambers of the National Assembly last month, the legislation increases the penalty for harassment within the couple in the event that it leads one of the partners to commit or attempt to commit suicide to up to 10 years.

It also allows judges to bar suspected abusers from seeing their children and doctors from breaking patient confidentiality to signal suspected cases of domestic violence to the authorities.

A review of the way police officers deal with domestic violence has also been launched.

According to the "Feminicides par compagnons ou ex" (Femicides by partners or exes) NGO, 61 women have so far lost their lives this year at the hand of their partners or former partners.