A WOMAN has claimed she was punched in the face by three men who were angry because she was wearing a skirt.
The 22-year-old, known only as Elisabeth, says she was held down by two men and punched by a third on her way home in Strasbourg, France.
The alleged victim told France Bleu: “One of the three men said to me ‘look at this wh**e in a skirt’
“I allowed myself to answer ‘sorry’. Then, they answered me ‘you shut up bi**h and lower your eyes’.
“Two of them grabbed me by one arm and the third punched me in the face. And then, the three fled.”
She claims there were more than a dozen witnesses to the unprovoked attack but no one intervened.
‘WE MUST NOT BE AFRAID’
But foreign languages student Elisabeth has said she will not let the attack last Friday afternoon stop her from living her life.
She said: “I have thought a lot about perspective, it could have been much worse.
“Life is so short, there are so many beautiful things that happen.
“We must not let ourselves be defeated and be afraid of going out, or be afraid to put on a skirt”.
The French government condemned the alleged attack.
Spokesperson Gabriel Attal said: “In France we must be able to go out dressed in the street as we want.
“We cannot accept that today in France, a woman feels in danger, either harassed, threatened or beaten because of how she dresses.”
In France we must be able to go out dressed in the street as we want
Government Spokesperson Gabriel Attal
Junior interior minister Marlence Schiappa urged members of the public to call the police if they witness any abuse against women.
She told France Bleu Alsace radio: “A woman is never hit because she wears a skirt.
“A woman is hit because there are people who are misogynistic, sexist, violent, and who free themselves of any law or any rule of civility by striking them.”
President Emmanuel Macron has begun to use increasingly tough rhetoric on domestic security issues.
Last Thursday a man was handed a suspended jail sentence for assaulting two women – one of whose outfit he claimed was too short.
The 18-year-old was sentenced a day after the incident under a special fast-track procedure allowed under French law.
The two women were waiting for a tram in Mulhouse, eastern France, when the man said: “Don’t you want to dress even shorter?”
He then pushed the young woman to the ground.
The crime sparked a ‘Mulhouse en jupe’ protest in the city, with 200 people attending yesterday to demand that women should be able to feel safe where they live.