Rally after the death of a pregnant young woman in Saint-Denis

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"How much does the life of a woman cost?": Associations called for resources at a rally Monday in Saint-Denis after the death of Leila, a pregnant young woman, whose companion is implicated for domestic violence.

Some 150 people gathered in front of the town hall of this city of Seine-Saint-Denis, where Leila, 20, pregnant for three months, died on July 3rd. The autopsy concluded that his death could result from an ectopic pregnancy.

His companion, however, was placed under the status of assisted witness, intermediate between a simple witness and indicted, in the investigation opened for violence causing death without intention to give it. He has also been indicted for previous domestic violence and placed under judicial control. The day before her death, the young woman had left a handrail.

"How much is a woman's life worth?" Asked Ernestine Ronai, head of the departmental observatory of violence against women, at the rally, calling on the authorities to deploy resources. Associations ask for "a billion," she said, "and it's not too much to fight this problem." "For the moment the means implemented are totally insufficient," added Marie-Christine Mourgue, President of SOS Women 93.

In the audience, relatives of Leïla, originally from Guadeloupe. "She wanted to be a social worker", explains to AFP, Sylvine, a cousin, a picture of the young woman, smiling, in the hands. "She worked as a carer for the weekend, on Thursday she volunteered with the elderly."

Garance, a 20-year-old student who lives in Saint-Denis, came to the rally because "it is now necessary to mobilize, to try to act" against this violence "which can affect anyone".

In recent days, politicians and civil society have stepped up to call for immediate action to combat feminicides.

Marlène Schiappa, Secretary of State for Equality between women and men, announced Sunday a "Grenelle of domestic violence" in September. The day before, 1,200 to 2,000 people had gathered in Paris against feminicides.

Every year, in France, nearly 220,000 women suffer violence from their spouse or former spouse. And 130 women died in 2017 in France, killed by their spouse or ex, against 123 in 2016, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

"It is up to us all to make domestic violence a closed chapter of history," said Monday evening the mayor of Saint-Denis, Laurent Russier (PCF).

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