A lesbian couple was attacked in the Paris suburb of Val-d’Oise over the weekend after a group of young men shouted slurs at them calling them “lesbian whores”.
The attack occurred at a train station of the Paris RER public transit system which links the heavily migrant-populated suburbs to the centre of the city. The young women, aged 17 and 18, say they were accosted by several young men who pulled their hair and pulled at their clothes, Le Figaro reports.
The attackers continued to harass the young women on the RER train leading to one of the women calling the police. Seven young men — all under the age of 17 — were arrested at the Conflans-Sainte-Honorine station. Two of those arrested were held in police custody including a girl who was with the young men.
Police say that neither of the girls was seriously injured but both were in shock over the incident.
Paris Metro Drivers Refuse to Stop at Certain Stations Citing Passenger Safety https://t.co/Xx6Xe243Fx
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The attack comes only months after the French publicly-owned courier service Chronopost announced they would not be delivering packages to certain neighbourhoods in the nearby Seine-Saint-Denis suburb due to the danger of attacks on their staff.
Attacks on public transit in northern Paris and the various northern suburbs has also led to transit employees refusing to stop at certain stations out of concern for their passengers’ safety. The union which represents the transit employees said that violent incidents directed at passengers and employees had risen substantially in recent months.
Safety for women, in general, has also become an issue in northern Paris as many women have complained about harassment from migrant men when walking in certain areas.
One woman who has lived in the areas for around 15 years complained last April: “A few days ago, the simply standing by my window triggered a flood of insults and I had to lock myself in my apartment. I used to walk down the Boulevard de la Chapelle from Stalingrad [metro station], even late at night … It’s unthinkable today.”