Domestic violence and the Olympics: “If we want to isolate the attackers the whole population must mobilize”

During major sporting events, gender-based and sexual violence increases significantly. As Paris prepares to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, how are victim support organizations preparing to ensure optimal support? Response with the founders of the ProtéJOns city system.

This summer Paris will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games. While the city prepares its infrastructures as best as possible to welcome the 15 million visitors, going so far as to ask (not without indecency) that the students abandon their rooms at the Crous to welcome the athletes, the sector associations. ensure daily monitoring of the people they support.

This is the case in particular of THE SORORITY FOUNDATION and A Shelter That Saves Lives: on the occasion of the Games they launched the system PROTECTION, which aims to find immediate solutions for the safety of victims of sexual and gender-based violence. Geolocalized alerts, network of trusted shelters… Thanks to the mutual help of citizens, the two associations make it possible to find shelter in a rapid and controlled way.

Meeting with the two founders of the system, Priscillia Routier Trillard (THE SORORITY) and Charlyne Péculier (Un Abri qui Sauve des Vies).

ProtéJOns, campaign poster

What is the correlation between gender violence and sporting events?

Priscillia Routier Trillard. We made three observations. The first is that in the streets as in transport, the insecurities that exist will mechanically increase during the Olympic Games due to the number of people who will condense in the same place.

Added to this factor is the increase in alcohol consumption, given that there will be parties everywhere. We know that existing problem behaviors will multiply with alcohol consumption in this context. A study released in the United Kingdom confirms this: on match nights, when the team we support draws, we observe a 26% increase in the number of domestic violence. When he loses, this increase amounts to 38%. Alcohol mixed with frustration in a climate of pre-existing violence can be a stimulus to act…

Charlyne Peculier. Exactly. And the third observation is that there will be fewer emergency housing solutions. The latest data on the matter, dating back to last year and certainly increasing since then, already shows that 10% of hotels that have entered into an agreement with the state for emergency accommodation would put an end to this and turn to tourism, their core business.

In France we had 50,000 nights a day of emergency accommodation in so-called “social” hotels, in addition to traditional reception centres. These accommodations are not only reserved for victims of domestic violence, but are intended for all those who live in difficult housing conditions. 10% less is huge. We will therefore find ourselves with fewer solutions and more violence.

Your two associations focus on citizens’ mutuality. What is it about?

Priscillia Routier Trillard. We deeply believe in the will and ability of the population to act. Mutual help from citizens means having eyes and people everywhere, people who want to contribute at their level, without necessarily having enough funds to make donations, for example.

Charlyne Peculier. Citizen mutuality, for associations that fight against violence against women, is not a given. However, if we want to isolate the attackers and want less violence, it is absolutely necessary that the entire population is informed. A shelter that saves lives was created in 2020 to be able to offer an additional housing solution, through the housing of citizens. These are people who welcome victims of violence into their homes for free, obviously in a very controlled way. This not only allows for a slightly wider range of solutions, but also allows victims to choose and have some comfort in their own accommodation. And it accelerates social integration.

How was the ProtéJOns system born?

Charlyne Peculier. It was born from the requests of structures, associations and local authorities, who last summer began to be afraid as the Olympic Games approached and faced with the dramatic situation that loomed for the victims of violence. It worked: if we want to absorb a wave of additional requests, we absolutely must create a specific system and above all a specific communication campaign. And then it also allows us to leave a legacy of the Olympics, to thus anchor the concept of citizen accommodation and citizen mutual aid in people’s minds to continue this help well beyond the games.

How does the device work?

Priscillia Routier Trillard. ProteJOns is what already exists today, but taken to a much higher scale. We intervene in a complementary way with A shelterso that, throughout the person’s life, from the morning when he gets up to the evening when he goes to bed, he can always benefit from security.

The Sorority intervenes in public space, on the street and in transport. Concretely, when you register on the application, your profile is verified and validated. If you find yourself in a situation of immediate danger, go to the application, press a button for two seconds that calculates in real time your GPS position and the position of the first 50 people around you, who have been subject to your geolocation, your photo, your name, you can contact you by message or by phone.

They ask you what’s going on, if you want them to join you or contact the authorities for you. In short, when you launch the alert, in one minute, you have more than 10 contacts. It goes very fast. It helps to break the effect of amazement, and therefore stress, and to immediately have a connection with the outside world. But also to destabilize your attacker who doesn’t expect you to receive a call or meet someone who knows you. In this way we put an end to the aggression very quickly and easily.

Charlyne Peculier. At the house of A shelter that saves lives, we maintain a toll-free number active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which is the access point for victims, but also for facilities and associations who contact us with a request for emergency accommodation. Thanks to our network of reception centers, whose situation we scrupulously monitor, we can provide refuge within one to five hours. When we can’t find a solution quickly, Priscillia makes an appeal to her community at The Sorority, and this usually allows us to have between 5 and 10 accommodation proposals, it’s extremely powerful.

Once the person has been hosted, a sort of contract is created between the facility and the person hosted to define the rules of coexistence and establish the duration of hospitalization. We make sure that there is no sharing of location data, especially to avoid putting the host family in danger. We are also working on a more sustainable shelter solution, in collaboration with local association networks. The idea is to guarantee that the protected person is taken care of and enters into an “after” dynamic, to avoid at all costs that he or she returns to the violent home. Our goal is for him to be able to rebuild himself and find financial independence.

Domestic violence: resources

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, or simply wants to learn more about the topic:

  • 3919 and the government website Let’s stop THE violence
  • Our practical article My boyfriend hit me: how to react, what to do when you are a victim of violence in your relationship?
  • The association Forward and its help chat available on How do we love each other?

Listen to Apéro des Daronnes, Madmoizelle’s show that aims to break down taboos on parenting.

Source: Madmoizelle

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