The French movement Ni Putes Ni Soumises (“Neither Whores Nor Submissives) celebrated its 10 years on the 4th of April and highlighted this through an event on the Pont des Arts in Paris.
In France, domestic violence has increased with 30% over the past 10 years and 1 out of 10 women is today concerned at some point in her life. In its fight to help women who are victims
of domestic violence to escape and start over NPNS has worked with the association Aurore since 2011. The association helps the women and their children to find a new place to live, something that many victims find difficult to do with out help.
To mark the 10-year anniversary of NPNS, the organisation and its agency BETC created an event to raise public awareness of the problem and to collect donations to fund sheltered housing.
On the 4th of April, Ni Putes Ni Soumises hung 300 padlocks on the Pont des Arts in Paris. The Pont des Arts has become one of Paris’ many symbolic places for romance. The bridge that crosses over Seine in central Paris is where couples come in thousands to attach a padlock as a symbol of their love.
On the 4th of April this year, NPNS attached 300 special padlocks on the Pont des Arts – each one representing a woman stuck in a violent relationship. By scanning a QR code on the padlock, passers-by could witness testimonies from victims on their phones, opening peoples eyes to how difficult it can be to leave a destructive relationship when you have nowhere to go.
After watching the video, people were encouraged to make a donation towards the housing projects. A contribution gave the donor a combination of numbers that unlocked the padlock, to symbolically set a woman free. In parallel, a website was also up where users can unlock virtual padlocks by making a donation: http://www.unlockawoman.com/
*Source : Fédération Nationale Solidarité Femmes, 2011