Illustration: Baptiste Condominas
Illustration: Baptiste Condominas

What are the rights of migrant women experiencing domestic violence in France? Where can they get help? Here's what you need to know.

Seeking help for domestic violence does not jeopardize someone's immigration status.

If you experience domestic violence from your partner after your arrival in France, you have legal protections that allow you to separate from your partner without jeopardizing your immigration status. Those protections apply regardless of whether your partner is French or if you entered the country through the family reunification procedure.

Here’s what the law says*:

If your partner is a French citizen:

"In case of the end of common life due to familial or conjugal [domestic] violence experienced after the arrival in France... but before the first delivery of the residency permit [carte de séjour], the foreign partner can receive the residency permit under article L.423-1 if the other conditions of the article are met.”

If your partner is a foreigner with a residency permit and you joined under the family reunification procedure:

“When the foreigner experienced familial or conjugal [domestic] violence and the common life is ruptured, the administrative authority cannot withdraw the residency permit of the foreigner admitted under the family reunification procedure and agrees to the permit renewal. In case of violence committed after the arrival in France of the partner but before the first delivery of the temporary residency permit, the partner receives a temporary residency permit with the label “private and family life” [“vie privée et familiale”] for one year.”

Organizations that help migrant women experiencing violence:

  • La Cimade

Reachable by phone every Wednesday from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm 

Contact: / 

In-person meetings are done on an appointment basis, appointments are given by phone. Leave a message on voicemail with your first name and your phone number. Someone from the organization will call you back.

La Cimade’s website

  • Femmes de la Terre

Reachable by phone every Monday from 1 pm to 5 pm. Call for more information and to schedule an appointment.

Contact: / 

Femmes de la Terre’s website

Other organizations and resources for women experiencing violence:

  • Hubertine Auclert center

The Hubertine Auclert center has made a map with centers and hotlines available for women experiencing violence. Their filter tool allows you to select the region, the type of violence and the kind of help you’re looking for.

  • National hotline / Violences femmes info : 3919 Violence Femmes Info

Open 24/7. Toll-free and anonymous, the 3919 hotline is the go-to number for women experiencing violence (including domestic violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, forced marriage, sexual mutilations, or harassment). They advise on available resources and assistance. The hotline guarantees anonymity, but it is not an emergency number like the 17 number which goes to the police if you’re in immediate danger.

Contact: 3919

  • Le planning familial (Family planning)

There are family planning centers across the country. You can go directly to one of them during their opening hours or reach them by phone.

Contact number in Paris : 01 42 60 93 20 or 01 45 84 28 25 or 01 42 45 67 35 every day from 10 am to 5:15 pm (except for Tuesday afternoons). On Mondays, the line is open until 6:30 pm.

To find the center closest to you: call 0 800 08 11 11 or go to their website.

*Source : Article L423-5 and L423-18 of the Code de l'entrée et du séjour des étrangers et du droit d'asile (CESEDA)


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