Paris Public Transport Sexual Harassment
Something to think about
when using Public Transport in Paris
Paris is an extraordinary place. The civilized beauty of it's gardens and architecture can lead the visitor to feeling a false sense of security as they travel throughout the city. Street crime has been steadily growing over the past few years with pickpockets, street scammers and snatch and grabs leading the way. Another insidious crime has also been increasing; sexual harassment on Public Transport.
Interestingly, studies have shown that harassment does not usually take place on the Metro or RER late at night but rather on buses and school buses between 10.00 and 16.00. Groping, verbal harassment and intimidation have all been reported as regular occurrences. Experiencing this type of abuse is upsetting and challenging for all women but female visitors to the city may feel particularly confronted and helpless, especially if they do not speak French.
If you find yourself the victim of sexual harassment on Public Transport in Paris, move away from your abuser as calmly as possible. If you are travelling by bus, tell the bus driver, using sign language if necessary. You can report harassment at any police station across the city. Reporting this type of abuse is empowering and can help you cope with the feelings of vulnerability that often follows this type of situation.
Indeed, The High Council for Equality Between Women and Men has decided to establish a large national action plan to "Stop gender harassment and sexual violence across the board." in France. Billboards condemning harassment and stating penalties, emergency numbers to call for help, and new rules for bus drivers allowing them to stop close to a woman's home if she feels at risk are underway.
We will continue to update as this plan unfolds. The next news should be in mid to late June.
English link to prefecture of police information etc
Complete listings + maps of Police Stations across the city
Full newspaper report Liberation