Victims of domestic abuse in France to receive emergency aid

France AP - Thibault Camus
DEC 2, 2023 LISTEN
AP - Thibault Camus

Victims of domestic violence in France will receive financial aid to help them leave their home under a new policy that took effect on 1 December. Last year some 244,000 people were recognised victims of domestic abuse – the vast majority of them women.

Paid by the Family Allowance Fund (Caf), the emergency aid package aims to allow victims of physical and psychological domestic violence meet their "urgent expenses" regarding shelter while waiting to find longer-term solutions.

"It will also help them access existing aid and to benefit from social support," the government said in a statement.

Any person who is a victim of domestic violence can request this help online or at the reception desks of the benefit offices.

Payments range between €240 and €1,330 euros and can be available within three to five days.

They are based on the minimum wage known as the RSA, which is €607.75 per month for a single person, and are adjusted according to a victim's resources and needs, also taking into account the number of children.

The aid, which cannot be granted more than once a year, must be paid in one go.

Victims will need to show a document dating less than a year attesting to the violence, such as the filing of a complaint, a protection order or report to the public prosecutor.

Donation or loan

The aid is granted in the form of a donation for the most deprived victims, or as an interest-free loan – the repayment of which begins two years after allocation.

In this case, the reimbursement can be charged to the violent spouse or partner if he or she is found guilty by the courts. 

A person with three dependent children under the age of 21 whose resources are less than or equal to €690 per month will receive €1,337.

Victims' associations welcomed the measure but said a certificates from an association should be sufficient to guarantee benefits because police complaints or protection orders take too long.

The government has promised to put forward a bill establishing an "immediate" protection order, to shorten the delay from six days to 24 hours.

The Caf said 244,000 people were victims of domestic violence in 2022, a figure up by 15 percent compared to the previous year.

In 2022, 118 women were killed by their partners, according to the Interior Ministry.