Behind closed doors. Domestic violence in France and women’s pathways to seeking justice : navigating against social norms and the culture of impunity

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Bourguignon, Alissia
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It is widely known that the largest risk of violence for women is at their home or within their intimate circle. Domestic violence (DV) constitutes one of the most pressing forms of violence against women, to which France is no exception. Beyond the prevalence and pervasiveness of DV against women in France, the survivors of this violence concurrently face an array of obstacles when attempting to seek justice. This thesis sought to evaluate the challenges faced by women in France, who are victims of DV, when attempting to seek justice. Despite France’s legal framework on violence against women, and its ratifications of crucial treaties aimed at the protection of women’s rights, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Istanbul Convention, an implementation gap still exists. Through interdisciplinary and qualitative methods, this thesis incorporated the analysis of various reports by human rights monitoring bodies, studies carried out by French feminist organizations, and an interview conducted with a representative of the French feminist collective, Nous Toutes. The findings of this thesis do not directly highlight the shortcomings of the current legal system in France but instead the ways in which socio-economic, cultural misunderstandings of DV, and structural barriers impact women’s pathways to justice. The concluding analysis reveals how the obstacles to seeking justice are simultaneously obstacles that maintain and normalize the prevalence of DV against women, in French society.
Second semester University: University of Cyprus
domestic violence, violence against women, France, Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, Istanbul Convention, cultural aspects, economic aspects, social aspects