According to an opinion poll; one in eight French women has been raped at least once in their lives, while French women are breaking their silence more and more in their own version of the #MeToo campaign.

#MeToo started on Twitter following troubling revelations over the last few months of sexual violence against women by men in the stratosphere of the film industry, the most notoriously known, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Sandra Muller, a French journalist based in the United States, then proceeded to create the French version of the campaign, namely #balancetonporc (exposing your pig), encouraging women to reveal the names of those who had sexually abused them .

A think tank study based in Paris, the Jean Jaures Foundation, surveyed 2,167 women over the age of 18 online between February 6 and 16, The Independent reported Saturday. The body said it was looking for the effect of sexual misconduct on French women, saying it had become a “major public health problem”.

One-eighth of the participants admitted to having experienced “penetrating sexual violence,” which represents about 12% of the country’s total female population, or four million, according to the survey.

A woman holds a “We will not be silent” sign at a rally against sexual and gender-based violence in the Place de la République in Paris on October 29, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The majority of respondents also reported being affected multiple times by different types of harassment.More than half (58%) reported having behaved inappropriately, with 43% reporting being affected without their consent. Marlène Schiappa, French Minister for Gender Equality, has proposed a fine of 5,000 euros for abusers.

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