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750 Euros Penalty For Wolf Whistling Under French Sexual Violence Law

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| May 23 , 2018 , 13:24 IST

Under a new sexual violence law passed by the French Parliament, men who wolf whistle at women may be fined at least 750 euros. However, the new laws are yet to be ratified and will be put to debate in the French Senate first.

This is in line with French President Emmanuel Macron’s attempts at curbing sexual violence in the country. Macron had pledged to bring the culture of sexual harassment to an end during his Presidential campaign last year.

Marlène Schiappa, Under-Secretary for Gender Equality is seen to be the face behind the legislation. Speaking to journalists Schiappa said, “It is a cultural struggle to bring down the tacit consensus of acceptance of violence. We’re in a grey zone, nowadays, when a woman is whistled at in the street, insulted or followed, that’s not classed as an assault or harassment because there are no elements of proof.”

She further explained that fines would be imposed by the police for, “men who follow women on the streets, intimidate them and harass them in public space.”

The National Assembly has already voted in favour of the new sexual violence laws.

It will also give underage victims of rape an extra decade to file complaints. The deadline will now be 30 years from when they turn 18, up from 20 years now.

Speaking on the legislation, President Macron said his goal was to ensure that women are not afraid to go outdoors and be outside.

However, not everyone seemed to be pleased with the new legislation. Far-right lawmaker and leader of the Front Nationale Emmanuelle Menard denounced the legislation as a 'witch-hunt against men'. She said this legislation outlawed "a certain bawdy behavior which cannot be compared to harassment."

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