Domestic violence: the government details new measures

"Specialized poles" in the courts, emergency measures taken in 24 hours

Domestic violence: the government details new measures

"Specialized poles" in the courts, emergency measures taken in 24 hours... The Keeper of the Seals, Eric Dupond-Moretti, detailed on Monday May 22 a series of measures to combat domestic violence, following the handover of a parliamentary report to the chancellery. These measures, which will be the subject of decrees or bills in the coming months, were announced in March by the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, as part of her plan in favor of equality between women and men, "great cause" of the quinquennium.

"We hope to be much more effective" in the face of "this violence that shames us" and is "everyone's business", said the Minister of Justice during a press briefing. with Isabelle Rome, Minister Delegate for Equality between Women and Men, and the two authors of the report, Emilie Chandler (Renaissance MP for Val-d'Oise) and Dominique Vérien (Senator for Yonne, UDI).

Among the measures is the establishment in the 164 courts of France of "poles specializing in domestic violence". Their framework will be fixed by decree "at the end of this summer", specified Mr. Dupond-Moretti. Each pole will include a team coordinated by magistrates from the seat and the referring prosecutor's office, but the heads of jurisdictions will have the hand to adapt their poles according to local specificities, by choosing, for example, to devote or not to specific hearings.

The government also wants to allow a judge to pronounce, in the event of "extreme urgency", a protection order in twenty-four hours, requested for a long time. The deadlines for these orders authorizing, for example, the eviction of the violent spouse or a ban on contact, had been reduced to six days in 2019 (forty-five days on average previously). This new "immediate" procedure will be provisional: it should then be re-examined, in a contradictory manner, by a judge.

Forty women killed since the beginning of the year

The Ministry of the Interior recorded 207,743 victims of domestic violence in France in 2021, mainly women, an increase of 21% compared to 2020. In total, 122 women were killed by their spouse or ex-spouse this same year, according to the ministry. About forty women have already been killed since the beginning of 2023 according to the associations.

The authorities are unable to reduce the scale of the phenomenon, despite the multiplication of measures taken, in particular since the Grenelle of domestic violence (which took place in 2019), notes in the preamble the report aimed at "improving the judicial treatment of violence intrafamilial".

The two authors of the report begin by noting the doubling of complaints since 2016 "in a context of freedom of speech and improvement of the reception conditions for victims by the police and gendarmerie services", as well as the more " fast" (doubling of convictions in criminal courts, 218% of removal measures between 2017 and 2021), even if progress is not "at the same level" throughout the territory.

In their recommendations, they emphasize the need to further work on the "necessary global vision" and "coordination" between the different actors. Failures in the follow-up of violent and recidivist spouses have been revealed during several feminicides in recent years.

Inspired by Spain

They recommend the creation of a file containing information on the perpetrators (on which the chancellery and the interior are already working) and better care for violent men (prevention campaigns, monitoring committee for release from prison, etc.) , victims and children, for example by proposing the creation of a "status" of ad hoc administrator.

Progress is still to be made in terms of training - the "process at work" in domestic violence is still often misunderstood and therefore poorly detected, notes the report.

The mandatory danger assessment grids are "far from being" systematically completed, insist the parliamentarians, who also suggest taking inspiration from Spain, a pioneering country in this area, and setting up a file assessing "based on an algorithmic calculation" the risk of acting out.

The report also proposes to further relax the terms and conditions for issuing "serious danger telephones". Nearly 3,500 are active (471% since 2019) but they remain three times less awarded than in Spain.

As for the "anti-reconciliation bracelets" (1,000 are active), which have also proven themselves in Spain, they still have many technical problems, notes the report. A new generation bracelet "will be deployed next month", promises the chancellery.

"This report gives birth to a mouse"

Associations defending women victims of violence have deemed "disappointing" or "incomplete" the measures to improve the judicial treatment of domestic violence announced by the government. "We've been waiting for this report for seven months and it gives birth to a mouse. He is very timorous, very unambitious in relation to the problem of family violence, which is massive, "said Anne-Cécile Mailfert, president of the Women's Foundation, to Agence France-Presse.

"Women, when they file a complaint, engage in a legal labyrinth: they will have multiple interlocutors for the same case of domestic violence", she continues.

Judging that the parliamentary report submitted on Monday is "a good inventory", the National Solidarity Women Federation, which manages the hotline 3919, would also "wish it would go further", with specialized courts "which deal criminal and civil cases at the same time".

For her part, Ghada Hatem, founder of La Maison des femmes de Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis) considers that these measures are "interesting" but wonders: "Will they be able to be applied? Are we always going to have someone sign the protection order at some point? ". The government signed an agreement with this structure on Monday, which provides multidisciplinary care for women victims of violence and whose model must be duplicated.