France woman slapped for refusing stranger’s sexual advances


Marie Laguerre was slapped in the streets of Paris by an unknown man. Photo/CNN
Marie Laguerre was slapped in the streets of Paris by an unknown man. Photo/CNN

In Summary

  • The Paris prosecutor has opened an investigation into the incident, although the man is yet to be identified.
  • The Senate recently passed a Bill aimed at tackling sexual violence in the country.

  • Harassment in public, including catcalling, whistling or demanding someone's phone number, could warrant a fine of up to $876 (Ksh.87, 600).

A man has been caught on video forcefully slapping a woman after he allegedly sexually harassed her on the streets of Paris.

The man is seen walking by a streetside cafe when he picks up an ashtray from a table and throws it over customers’ heads in the woman’s direction. 

He then comes face to face with her, waving his hands, before striking a blow and turning around to walk away.

The woman, Marie Laguerre, posted CCTV footage of the incident on her Facebook account, saying that she was on her way home on Tuesday last week when the man started whistling and making noises at her.

“He said dirty words that were humiliating and provocative as I passed by him,’ she said.

[EDIT : A tous ceux qui disent que les témoins n'ont pas assez bien réagi : tout s'est passé très vite et ils n'ont pas eu le temps de comprendre la situation. L'agresseur était dangereux. Après l'agression, je suis revenue et les témoins ont été d'un grand soutien, merci de ne pas les lyncher]Hier soir, alors que je rentrais chez moi, vers le Boulevard de la Villette dans le 19ème arrondissement à Paris, j'ai croisé un homme. Il s'est permis de m'adresser des bruits/commentaires/sifflements/coup de langue sales, de manière humiliante et provocante à mon passage.Pas de chance, c'était pas le premier de la journée et j'étais fatiguée. J'ai donc lâché un "ta gueule" en traçant ma route.Car je ne tolère pas ce genre de comportement. Je ne peux pas me taire et nous ne devons plus nous taire. Ça n'a pas plu à cet homme. Après m'avoir jeté un cendrier dessus, il est revenu sur ses pas et m'a suivi dans la rue.Il m'a frappé au visage, en pleine rue, en pleine journée, devant des dizaines de témoins.J'ai porté plainte.Ce n'est pas le seul. Le harcèlement c'est au quotidien. Ces hommes qui se croient tout permis dans la rue, qui se permettent de nous humilier et qui ne supportent pas qu'on s'en offusque, c'est inadmissible. Il est temps que ce genre de comportement CESSE.#NousToutes

Posted by Marie Laguerre on Wednesday, July 25, 2018

“Bad luck, he was not the first one that day and I was tired. So I said ‘shut up’ as I walked away,” she wrote. “Because I do not tolerate this kind of behavior. I cannot shut up and we must not shut up.”

She described how the man threw the ashtray at her and started following her.

France Woman Slapped

“He hit me in the street, in the middle of the day, in front of dozens of witnesses. I filed a complaint.”

The Paris prosecutor has opened an investigation into the incident, although the man has not yet been identified.

Witnesses at the cafe got up to confront the man and were seen on the video arguing with him before he walked away.

“He is not the only one. Harassment is every day. These men who think everything’s allowed in the street, who humiliate us and who cannot stand being offended, it’s unacceptable. It is time for this kind of behavior to end,” Laguerre wrote.

France’s Gender Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa said the violence in the video had “shocked” people.

“I would like to salute the courage of this young woman, Marie, who has positioned herself as a whistle-blower and this allows people who were skeptical on sexual harassment to see what it really looks like,” Schiappa told French radio RTL on Monday.

The French Senate recently passed a Bill aimed at tackling sexual violence in the country, though it is yet to be formally signed into law. 

Harassment in public, including catcalling, whistling or demanding someone’s phone number, could warrant a fine of up to $876 (Ksh.87, 600), the Bill states.

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