Domestic violence has jumped over 30% in a week in France since the country went in lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the Interior Ministry has said.
This worrying consequence of the lockdown introduced by the French government on March 17 was reported by Interior Minister Christophe Castaner during a TV interview on Thursday.
Reports of domestic violence, he said, have increased 32% in the"gendarmerie zone" in the French regions and 36% in Paris.
The data does not come from the entire French territory since France's "gendarmerie zone" only includes cities of more than 20,000 people.
The lockdown has forced people to stay at home, increasing the risks for domestic abuse victims.
Castaner said that new measures would be introduced to allow victims to call for help during the lockdown.
Victims will be able to call for help in pharmacies, Castaner said: "A woman who is suffering from domestic violence, when she goes to the pharmacy without her husband, must be able to call for help."
He added that a code system could be developed for victims who would be in the pharmacy with a violent spouse.
The use of code systems against domestic violence is already in place in Spain.
Castaner said that the police will be on "emergency call" and declared that fighting domestic violence is a "priority".
In France, victims of domestic violence can dial the freephone number 3919 to call for help.