Fighting domestic violence: “We are far from a mainstream national policy with sufficient funding”

Budget machines are well-oiled machines. Each public problem has corresponding budget “missions” that more or less overlap with various ministries, grouped by topic. Thus, various special rapporteurs in Parliament examine the government’s appropriations for each “mission” and can give their opinion each year on the budget allocated to each state policy.

This forced transition of political and parliamentary life allows all relevant subjects (administrations, parliamentarians, but also associations or citizens) to count the funds allocated by the executive power to one subject. This is true, for example, for ecology, security, justice, health, sports, work, culture… but not really for gender equality.

54 million for the “Equality between women and men” budget

The gender equality budget belongs to the mission “Solidarity, integration and equal opportunities” at the accounting level, where this budget program number 137 accounts for only 54 million, i.e. 0.2%, of the 30 billion euros. Senator LR Arnaud Bazin, one of the two rapporteurs of the “Solidarity” mission, says that if the budget allocated to gender equality increases by 14%, it is “on a fairly low basis”. Within this budget, 29.2 million euros have been allocated to violence against women, which is “an undeniably small increase compared to the 13 million of the 2019 budget”, while hosting the Communist senator Eric Bocquet, who is also the Solidarity budget rapporteur. »

These loan increases include 3 million people to support the 3919 telephone platform that supports women victims of violence, explains Eric Bocquet: “3919, which is very popular with 150,000 calls in 2021, i.e. 54% more than in 2019. The challenger and response rate remains at 75% and the target target at 85%. There are problems with recruiting and training listeners, and the tools are not yet fully adapted to the ever-increasing needs. »

An additional €6 million is also to be allocated to 30 care centers for perpetrators of domestic violence (CPCA). The system was created after the Grenelle of domestic violence to prevent recidivism through supervision and psychological support, but the speakers explain that many associations fighting violence against women would have preferred these credits to be included in the Justice budget. “The associations regretted that this funding was provided by the “equality between women and men” program, which should be dedicated to the victims, not the perpetrators, which seems fair to me. This may apply to the Justice mission, as placement in these centers is subject to court orders. »

“We don’t have any proper tools to quantify the budget allocated to fighting violence against women”

To be honest, the budget allocated for gender equality is therefore not in bad shape. The problem is that this budget program does not measure the funds allocated by the executive power to this topic at all, this is explained by the two speakers who are responsible for these loans. “This does not include all measures to combat domestic violence, or even equality between women and men. Emergency placement of women victims is found in the Housing budget or special staff in the gendarmerie and police stations, for example in the loans of the Security mission”, explains Arnaud Bazin.

“We don’t have any proper tool to quantify the budget allocated to fighting violence against women,” concludes Senator LR. His communist colleague Eric Bocquet completely agrees with him on this point: “When you say the astonishing figure of 1 billion to fight violence against women after Grenelle. [des violences conjugales, ndlr], we realized that this is a collection of loans that are difficult to track. Then, when we listened to the associations dealing with the subject, they told us that we are too far away from this billion that the government announced. »

“We are far from a big national policy with sufficient financial opportunities”

Arnaud Bazin also remembers these “interministerial tables” that the government tried to present after Grenelle in 2020: “They showed us astronomical amounts, but we counted the hours of history-geography teachers in matters related to citizenship education. loans earmarked for equity or development aid. It was very difficult to read. »

This spending deficit may just be an accounting problem, but for Eric Bocquet, the budget allocation reflects a lack of political will and efficiency: “We rely a lot on loyal and militant unions on this issue, so positive things are happening locally. , but there are strong territorial differences and a lack of national coordination. We are far from a large national polity with sufficient funding. “Communist senator pleads for budget ‘that’s really going into the billions'” because femicide isn’t going down, one woman killed by her husband every three days.

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