Panorama of violence in metropolitan France: Genesis survey

The Ministerial Statistical Service for Internal Security (SSMSI) is today publishing an unprecedented panorama of violence in mainland France, measured from the Genesis survey that it conducted in 2021.

This work describes three families of violence: violence suffered in childhood, violence committed within the couple (“by partner”) and violence committed by a non-partner. For each of them, the number and proportion of women and men who have been victims of this violence during their lifetime or over more recent periods are measured. In addition, the experience of victims over their entire life is systematically explored using a gendered approach in order to finely characterize the violence suffered (psychological, physical or sexual) and to describe the frequency, the duration of the facts and the link between the perpetrator and the victim. victim. The main socio-demographic characteristics of the victims are also provided.

Five years after the shock wave produced by the Harvey Weinstein affair in October 2017 and the #MeToo wave that followed, in a context of freedom of speech and increased mobilization of public authorities (major national causes around violence against to women and equality between women and men, Grenelle on domestic violence, etc.), this publication offers an overview of violence in metropolitan France and opens the way to many more in-depth studies.

The main lessons from these initial analyzes reveal that in 2021 women will continue to be more affected than men by violence, particularly sexual violence. In fact, with the exception of physical violence committed by parents in childhood and physical violence by non-partners, the percentages of female victims of the various types of violence studied – whether during life or over a longer period recent – ​​remain well above those of men. The comparison of the experiences of the victims also reveals very clearly the differences in characteristics between the violence suffered by women and that suffered by men. Thus, female victims are more affected by acts of psychological, sexual or physical violence committed in the intra-family sphere, in particular marital, which results in an overexposure of female victims to repeated acts and over longer periods of time than the victims. male victims. In the case of partner violence, female victims also more frequently report the potentially most serious types of violence. Whatever the nature of the violence and the sex of the victim, men are overwhelmingly at the origin of the violence. Finally, specific insight into sexist or sexual behavior at work highlights initial findings, again with a greater exposure of women to this type of violence, and in particular of women at the start of their careers.

In 2021, more than 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 6 men, aged 18 to 74, reported having experienced domestic violence before the age of 15 (psychological, physical or sexual). Women are overexposed to this violence committed within the family sphere and in particular to sexual violence (6% against 2% for men).

More than 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men report having suffered at least once since the age of 15 years of psychological violence within the couple (“by partner”). Physical or sexual violence by a partner is rarer, but the gaps between men and women are greater: in 2021, 1 in 6 women declare having been a victim of it at least once since the age of 15 compared to 1 in 18 men.

20% of men and 15% of women aged 18 to 74 report having suffered physical violence at least once since the age of 15 by someone other than a current or ex-partner (“non-partner”) . Sexual violence by a non-partner is much rarer for men (3%) than for women (17%).

More than one in four people say they have been confronted during their professional life with at least one of the ten undesirable situations or behaviors with a sexist or sexual connotation measured in the survey. These situations concern 3 times more women than men.

The embargo will be lifted this Monday, November 21, 2022 at 5 p.m. and the book can be downloaded from the SSMSI website at this address:

About the ISMS
Within the Ministry of the Interior and Overseas Territories, the SSMSI is the statistical service in charge of internal security, attached to both the national police and gendarmerie. Along with INSEE and 15 other ministerial statistical services, it forms the official statistical service coordinated by INSEE.
Created at the end of 2014, the SSMSI’s mission is to produce and make available to the general public and to the services of the Ministry statistics and analyzes on internal security and delinquency. Like the other members of the official statistical service, it complies with a certain number of rules aimed at maintaining confidence in the information produced and disseminated, in particular professional independence, reliability, neutrality, quality of processes, solid methodology, accessibility. Its work program is the subject of consultation with all users within the National Council for Statistical Information (Cnis). Its activity is assessed by the Official Statistics Authority (ASP).
All SSMSI publications are available and downloadable online from its website

Panorama of violence in metropolitan France: Genesis survey