“They say of us that we are an innovation laboratory. What we are experiencing in Seine-Saint-Denis is spreading to the whole of France”, rejoices Ernestine Ronai, who celebrates her twenty years at the head of this departmental organization on Thursday. .

Far from wanting to “stigmatise, we wanted to show the extent of violence against women, which affects all social backgrounds, and alert to the dangerousness of violent men”, explains Ms. Ronai, feminist activist and psychologist by training.

The first study carried out by the Observatory in 2007 revealed “that one in 10 women is the victim of violence in their relationship, i.e. 36,000 women. Twenty years later, we are at 60,000 women, the equivalent of the city of Pantin” .

Once the report was established, it was necessary to think of tools to protect the victims.

Inspired by a Spanish device, the Observatory imagines with the Bobigny prosecutor’s office, the police and SOS Victime a “serious danger” mobile phone which includes a pre-programmed emergency call button.

In Seine-Saint-Denis, “in four minutes, the police arrive”. “The device has proven itself,” says Brigitte Broux, director of the SOS Women 93 association, which “files files with the prosecutor’s office every day” so that women can obtain a telephone.

This system, tested since 2009 in the department, was generalized in 2014 to the rest of France, where nearly 5,000 telephones are now deployed.

– Export know-how –


Particular attention is given to the child, “co-victim” of the violence. The femicide protocol, launched in 2015, allows the care of orphaned children in the context of femicides/domestic homicides.

“Most often, it is the father who kills the mother, it is something terrible for the child. It was therefore considered that the children should be hospitalized so that they have immediate treatment in psycho-trauma “, details Ernestine Ronai.

The daughter of a parent who has committed domestic violence is six and a half times more likely than another to be the victim of sexual violence, according to a study published by the Observatory in 2021.

If progress has been made in the care of abused women, “it is not enough”, believe the actors of the defense of women’s rights for whom it is necessary to continue the training of police officers and gendarmes.

In 2021, 122 women were killed in France under the blows of their spouse or ex-spouse, according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior.

To this are “added 190 attempts at feminicide and 209 suicides of ladies who could no longer endure physical and psychological violence”, warns the Observatory, which wishes to establish “a presumption of credibility for the victim”.

In this sense, a bus will cross from January five towns of Seine-Saint-Denis to meet women in popular markets in order to “restore their confidence, tell them we believe you, inform them of the tools that allow to protect them”, explains Ms. Ronai.

And for its 20th anniversary, the Observatory is continuing its innovations with in particular the creation of a certificate against sexism which promotes gender equality and wishes to extend this diploma to all colleges in France.

The structure also tackles head-on the problem of the prostitution of minors.

With its expertise, the Observatory now aims “to disseminate its know-how beyond its borders”, advances Stéphane Troussel, the PS president of the department.

An international observatory on violence against women has just been launched, with the Palestinian city of Jenin and Grande Comore, one of the three islands of the archipelago of the same name, as its first partners.