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NPNS Breaks the Law of Silence Surrounding Gang Rape

DSCN4407 Text and image: Sarah Braasch

Ni Putes Ni Soumises (NPNS – Neither Whores Nor Submissives) led a march through Les Ulis, suburbian community south of Paris on Saturday, April 17th. Ni Putes Ni Soumises is an international human rights organization, with headquarters in Paris, France, that advocates on behalf of women’s rights as universal human rights without compromise. 

The march was held to break the law of silence surrounding the issue of gang rape in the community of Les Ulis. Recently, two teenage girls were gang raped in Les Ulis. The 14-year-old victim accused a group of teenage boys. She and her family have been forced to flee the community after having suffered harassment and threats, because the young victim chose to file a complaint with local law enforcement.  The community has rallied around the young male suspects and demonized the female victim of this horrific act of gender violence.

Members of the community came out to condemn and shout at the group of approximately 50 activists participating in the march. A woman approached the marchers at the start of the protest and shouted, “Girls today are easy. We support the boys.”  A group of young men also yelled at the protesters from the side of the road as the procession continued towards city hall. 

The President of Ni Putes Ni Soumises, Sihem Habchi, answered these challenges. “We are here to break the law of silence,” she proclaimed.  “This is an issue of gender inequality,” she continued.  Ms. Habchi led the march to the Les Ulis City Hall where she roused the crowd with a moving speech, before leading a small delegation from Ni Putes Ni Soumises inside to meet with the Mayor’s office.

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