1) Good practices on communication with victims and crime reporting
On communication with victims
Information campaign on reporting and protection mechanisms is ongoing, particularly with regard to domestic violence, violence against minors and specific groups such as LGBT people. The websites of the Ministry of Justice (http://www.justice.gouv.fr/ and https://www.justice.fr) are taking part in this campaign by providing information on reporting and protection mechanisms, as well as information on how the courts operate during this period. At the local level, victim support associations have also carried out communication activities in the local media.
On crime reporting
- Victims can go out despite the lockdown to report offences
- Internet reporting platforms are still active despite the health crisis, particularly in the areas of sexual and gender-based violence https://arretonslesviolences.gouv.fr/ (with chat possible) or cybercrime https://www.internet-signalement.gouv.fr/
- The FLAG! application was launched at the end of April: it is a free, anonymous reporting platform, available on Android and iOS, for victims and witnesses of physical or verbal violence against LGBT people, domestic violence, especially in LGBT couples. https://www.flagasso.com/application-flag.html
- Locally, specific new mechanisms have sometimes been created: the “spokespersons” protocol, which enables a confidant to provide, with the victim’s agreement, some information about his or her situation to specialised professionals who will come back to the victim to listen, accompany and advise him or her http://www.ille-et-vilaine.gouv.fr/Actualites/Espace-presse/2020/Pas-de-confinement-pour-les-droits-des-femmes ; the possibility of reporting acts of domestic violence to the Public Prosecutor by email or by sending a message via Facebook http://www.ca-papeete.justice.fr/index.php?rubrique=68&article=33067
- During the lockdown period, victims of domestic violence can alert the police and gendarmerie by text message to the number 114 (usually reserved for the deaf and hard of hearing).
- A warning protocol has been set up with the National Order of Pharmacists to enable both victims of domestic violence and minors to report violence against them to a pharmacist. Witnesses can also report domestic violence or a worrying situation so that the police can be alerted https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites/Communiques/Engagement-des-pharmacies-pour-permettre-l-accueil-des-victimes-de-violences-intrafamiliales
2) Good practices on organisation of support and protection
- The violence against women (3919) and children at risk (119) hotlines have been reorganized or strengthened to cope with the increase in calls. The victim support platform (116006) is working as well.
- Local victim support associations have adapted their way of working, using different means of communication and being more proactive to contact victims.
- During the lockdown period, victim support associations set up information and support desks on domestic violence in shopping malls.
- To try perpetrators of domestic violence and to ensure the protection of spouses and children are priorities reaffirmed by the criminal policy instructions issued in the context of the health crisis. Immediate and firm responses are being made to these facts. The criminal procedure has been adapted to allow for the issuance of protection orders and to ensure the continuity of those already issued.
- A guidance platform on the eviction of violent partners was launched in early April, accessible at firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.justice.gouv.fr/art_pix/Fiche_pratique_eviction_MJ_SDFE.pdf
3) Other good practices
A telephone platform was set up in April by the National Council of Bars (Conseil national des barreaux) in order to answer questions from professionals – in particular pharmacists, doctors, police officers, gendarmes, listening associations…. – brought to take care of victims of domestic violence during confinement. It allows requests to be referred to a lawyer with territorial competence and the ability to obtain a protection order. This number has been operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since April 11. In addition, several bar associations organise a specific hotline for victims of domestic violence.
4) Additional information
(in French language)