A video showing a man forcefully slapping a woman after his alleged sexual harassment on the streets of Paris was rebuffed has shocked and angered viewers around the world.
Marie Laguerre posted CCTV footage of the incident on her Facebook account, saying that she was on her way home last week when the man started whistling and making noises at her, and said “dirty words that were humiliating and provocative as I passed by him”.
“Bad luck, he was not the first one that day and I was tired. So I said ‘shut up’ as I walked away,” the 22-year-old Ms Laguerre wrote.
“Because I do not tolerate this kind of behaviour. I cannot shut up and we must not shut up.”
The video shows the man walking by a streetside cafe when he picks up an ashtray from a table and throws it over customers’ heads in the woman’s direction.
He then comes face to face with the woman and waves his hands, before striking her and turning around to walk away.
“He hit me in the street, in the middle of the day, in front of dozens of witnesses. I filed a complaint,” Ms Laguerre wrote.
The Paris prosecutor has reportedly opened an investigation into the incident, while the man in question is yet to be identified.
Watch the video of the attack below:
Ms Laguerre later told French TV her angry rejection of the man was the culmination of constant harassment on the streets of Paris.
“It wasn’t the first time that day, that week, or that month, it had been building up. I got angry and said ‘shut up’. I didn’t think he’d hear, but he did,” she said.
Witnesses at the cafe got up to confront the man and were seen on the video arguing with him before he walked away.
“He is not the only one. Harassment is every day. These men who think everything’s allowed in the street, who humiliate us and who cannot stand being offended, it’s unacceptable. It is time for this kind of behavior to end,” Ms Laguerre wrote.
France’s Gender Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa said the violence in the video had “shocked” people.
“I would like to salute the courage of this young woman, Marie, who has positioned herself as a whistle-blower and this allows people who were skeptical on sexual harassment to see what it really looks like,” Ms Schiappa told French radio RTL on Monday.
The French Senate recently passed a bill aimed at tackling sexual violence in the country, which is yet to be formally signed into law.
Under the new law, harassment in public, including catcalling, whistling or demanding someone’s phone number, could fines of up to 750 euros ($1180).