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Victims' helpline never responds

Paroles de Femmes, which supports victims of domestic violence, urges minister to test 115 helpline

AN ASSOCIATION of victims of domestic abuse has called on a minister to try out an emergency helpline that is supposed to help women, but which never answers

In an internet video uploaded for today's International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the association Paroles de Femmes demonstrated how difficult it was for mothers to find a shelter with their children.

It also showed that the 115 emergency helpline was never actually answered and called on the Minister for womens' rights Najat Vallaud-Belkacem to test the number herself.

View the video here.

In the video the association president Olivia Cattan makes 21 different calls but still fails to find a place for a victim and her three children, leaving her to return home to her husband.

Ms Cattan said the video demonstrated the need for for more places for women and showed the gap between rhetoric and reality for the facilities in place for victims of violence.

A three-year plan announced by Ms Vallaud-Belkacem last Friday will create an extra 1,650 places dedicated for female victims of domestic violence between now and 2017 – a promise made by President François Hollande last year.

In 2012, 148 women died as a result of violence from their partner or former partner, according to statistics from the Ministry of the Interior.

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