France Shocked At CCTV Of Woman Being Randomly Attacked On Street
"We mustn't tolerate this kind of behaviour".
France has been shocked by footage of a woman randomly attacked while walking through Paris on Tuesday night.
Marie Laguerre, 22, was walking in the 19th Arrondissement, when a man began abusing her and making suggestive noises.
"He was able to send me noises / comments / whistles / dirty tongue, humiliating and provocative in my passage," she wrote on Facebook.
"No luck. It wasn't the first of the day, and I was tired. So I dropped a "shut up".
"Because I don't tolerate this kind of behaviour. I can't shut up and we mustn't shut up."
Laguerre said that he threw an ashtray at her, then came back, "in the middle of the day, in front of dozens of witnesses", and hit her in the face. The CCTV footage she posted to Facebook shows her body thrown with the force of the punch.
"He's not the only one," she continued. "Harassment is daily. These men who think they're all allowed on the street, who can humiliate us and don't stand to be offended, that's unacceptable. It's time for this kind of behaviour to stop."
She used the hashtag #NousToutes, which translates to #AllOfUs. It is not quite the rallying cry of #MeToo of France, which has largely adopted the hashtag #BalanceTonPorc, or #OutYourPig.
"I felt hated," she told local paper Le Parisien. "I refused to be demeaned, it was humiliating. I refused to look down, I looked him right in the eyes, I was not going to apologise.
Her post has gone viral, with the video being seen over 10,000 times, and attracting more than 2,000 comments.
Most comments have applauded her bravery in speaking out, while some -- as they pretty much always do -- questioned why the people around her did not immediately leap to her defence.
"To all those who say that the witnesses have not reacted enough; everything happened very quickly and they did not have time to understand the situation," she said.
"The attacker was dangerous. After the assault, I came back and witnesses were of great support."
It comes after the French Government announced in March that sexual harassment in public spaces -- which encompasses "annoying, following and threatening" someone, as well as sexist comments -- would be punishable by an on-the-spot fine of €90 (about AUD$142).
After the attack made headlines in France, the French qualities minister, Marlène Schiappa, who introduced the fines, said that she was "outraged... but not surprised, unfortunately."
"The issue of violence against women should no longer be a private issue, but a real societal issue that affects all of us," Schiappa said in parliament.
"It is a question of society and it must be denounced!"
Laguerre filed a complaint, and the Paris public prosecutor's office has opened an investigation. The attacker has not yet been caught.