France shocked by video of woman being slapped by harasser

Marlene Schiappa France's minister for gender equality speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York

The French anti-harassment group Stop Street Harassment says that women experiencing harassment in public should "ignore the harasser and go to a safe place such as a shop or restaurant" or "if you feel safe enough, respond calmly and firmly but without apologising".

In security camera footage from a nearby café, he can then be seen hitting her in the face before running away. The man, who became increasingly angry, threw an ashtray at her and then rushed over to violently slap her in the face in front of dozens of people.

The post has been viewed more than a million times and shared thousands of times across social media.

France's president Emmanuel Macron has said he supports passing a law that would make it easier to fine men who harass women on the streets. Laguerre comments on the video: "This is an unacceptable behaviour".

"I didn't even think he heard me", Laguerre told Le Parisien. "That's why fighting street harassment is a priority", she continued.

A group of them shout at the man and they seem to get into a heated exchange with him.

The attack has prompted prosecutors to launch an inquiry into "violence and sexual harassment" and triggered a national debate about the way women are treated in France.

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In response, Laguerre insults him and he approaches her again.

The first fines are expected to be handed out in September, according to Equalities Minister Marlene Schiappa, who said she was outraged by the attack on Ms Laguerre.

Ms Laguerre wrote on her Facebook page: "This is not the only incident".

She promised on-the-spot fines of €90 ($NZ150), or higher if the person is a repeat offender, will start being enforced this autumn, adding: "We are lowering the tolerance level".

"I let out a, 'Shut up!' while making my way", she wrote on Facebook.

"Almost a quarter (22%) of young women in Sydney are harassed once a month or more, with more than 1 in 10 facing it on at least a weekly basis", said the report. She filed a complaint. It is time for this kind of behaviour to STOP. She told Parisien magazine, "I chose to talk about it and not to remain silent, in order to denounce the kind of thing that happens to all women".

"It (the blow) bumped hard against my head but I stayed upright and dignified the best I could". These men who think everything's allowed in the street, who humiliate us and who can not stand being offended, it's unacceptable.

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