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700 street harassment fines issued in France in a year

Behaviour such as cat-calling, making offensive comments about a person's appearance, obscene gestures, unwanted propositioning, or deliberately and insistently following someone in the street can now result in fines of between €90 and €750

Authorities in France have issued more than 700 fines since a street harassment law came into effect a year ago, the government has announced.

"The tolerance towards street harassment has lasted too long! It is no longer allowed to insult, threaten, follow, or humiliate women in the street, transport system or public space. The fines will continue," it said in a tweet.

The law is the brainchild of Equality Minister Marlène Schiappa, who spearheaded the effort as part of wide-ranging legislation against sexual violence in France.

Behaviour such as cat-calling, offensive comments on a person's appearance, making obscene gestures, unwanted propositioning or deliberately and insistently following someone in the street can now result in fines of between €90 and €750.

They can rise to €1,500 for repeat offences, or for those targeting someone under the age of 15; or for a range of other aggravating circumstances.

A government report in 2015 said that every woman who had used public transport in Paris had suffered at least one instance of sexual harassment or assault.

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