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Domestic violence: gendarmes and associations on a war footing

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To fight against domestic violence, the prefecture has launched a new device. In some shopping centers, such as Roques-sur-Garonne, a few kilometers from Toulouse, gendarmes and members of associations provide information and advise customers.

Since July ”, every fortnight, the Roques-sur-Garonne shopping center has hosted an information stand on domestic violence.
Two gendarmes as well as a member of the France Victimes 31 association are on duty to guide and inform those who wish. This initiative began during the first containment in several shopping centers in the region. A real necessity given the increase in domestic violence since the start of the health crisis.

An increase in domestic violence of around 25%

“This year, compared to the same period in 2019, we are seeing an increase in domestic violence of around 27%,” says Françoise Passuello, director of France victim 31. “In the gendarmerie area in Haute-Garonne, this increase is around 23%, ”says Chief Warrant Officer Thierry Mattelin.

In recent months, various devices have been tested to curb this violence. “The gendarmes called 400 victims in Haute-Garonne. An alert system has also been set up in pharmacies. Both devices have shown their effectiveness. The permanence in the shopping centers, another experiment, is also of the most useful assure gendarmes and associative activists. “Usually people come and ask us for information for someone they know. We listen to them and we guide them. Complaints are not necessarily the solution, there are other ways to help women, separation or shelter for example, ”explains Françoise Passuello.

“A very important social component”

Information to help a friend victim of violence, that’s what Bouzid came looking for on Wednesday. “This stand is a very good initiative. I did not know all these associations, I am going to talk to my friend about it, ”he says.
Sarah and her companion Aurélien also took advantage of their afternoon. The couple discovered the stand at the end of their shopping. The opportunity to glean some information. “My ex-spouse hit me and continues to harass me, he does not want to recover his furniture and wants me to drop the children off at the end of the street so as not to see me, I came to ask the gendarmes for advice,” testifies Sarah. The young woman of about thirty left reassured. The three members of the permanent staff confirmed his rights to him and put an end to his doubts concerning the actions of his ex-companion. “The social aspect of our mission is very important. I gave the contact details of France victims 31 to this person so that they could make an appointment with a lawyer, ”reports Thierry Mattelin once the couple left.

The next two hotlines will take place on Friday December 4 and Monday December 21 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. A ministerial assessment will then decide whether or not to continue them.

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