Women in Paris have been protesting against ‘no go zones’ where immigrants from Asia and Africa pester and abuse them.
It’s claimed the district of Chapelle-Pajol, in the north east of the French capital, has become more dangerous for women as the rate of immigration there grows. Large groups of men are said to hang around in the streets, sometimes drinking, and often intimidate women.
One 80-year-old woman from the district has even said she was sexually assaulted walking home one night.
Others have complained about catcalls and verbal abuse, which makes them feel unsafe.
Dozens turned out to protest against the so-called ‘no go zones’ on Friday. ‘The problems in the area are real,’ Clare Rougy, one of the demonstrators, told The Local.
She added: ‘It is aggressive and you see men fighting in the streets. Women do not feel safe.’
Another woman, identified as 50-year-old Natalie, told Le Parisien newspaper: ‘The atmosphere is agonising, to the point of having to modify our itinerary, our clothes. Some even gave up going out.’
SOS La Chapelle, which organized the protest, has launched an online petition urging Paris authorities to highlight the harassment, drug-dealing and crime plaguing parts of Paris. It has so far been signed by more than 18,000 people.