What the polls say, are the French victims of racist insults and other forms of verbal aggression?

The ONDRP (French National Observatory of Crime and Criminal Justice) and the l’INSEE (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies) have developed the annual crime study Cadre de vie et sécurité (CVS) for roughly ten years (2007-2015), which is based on an annual survey of approximately 16,500 people over 14 with information obtained from French families.

Observatoire national de la délinquance et des réponses pénalesIn the sphere of individual crimes, the latest and penultimate insults are looked at. The person insulted can distinguish if the comment was racist, anti-Semite, xenophobe, homophobe, sexist or of any other kind (there is the option of not being able to classify the type of insult). The survey also allows for the literal reproduction of the last insult suffered, which makes it possible to make a more objective classification.

The main results of the CVS survey

Of all the people interviewed between 2007 and 2015, 12.4% said that they had suffered an insult of some sort during the previous two years when answering the questionnaire. 14% said the insult was of a racist, anti-Semite or xenophobe nature.

Profile of the victims

Half of the victims of racist insults were under 38 and 24%, between 14 and 24. Concerning younger people, males have been more victimised than females: in the 14 to 24 age group, 27.9% of the victims were male, whereas 22.4% were female. The 35 to 44 age group also recorded a rate of 21.1% among men, with 19.5% being women. Verbal aggression with racist connotations becomes less frequent as people grow older. Therefore, young men are more prone to racist abuse; despite this, when the motivation for abuse differs; women are more often the victims in all age groups.

Profile of the authors

In 59% of cases, the authors are alone, and, in this context, minors are rarely involved (15% of cases); on other hand, this percentage of young offenders doubles when a group is involved. For 89% of men who are victims and 62% of women, the authors are male.

Connection between author and victim

Nearly two thirds of cases indicate that the author and victim did not know each other. When they are previously acquainted, this is superficial; they knew each other to look at (22%). There is a connection linked to friendship, family or something similar in 13% of cases.

Method used to discriminate  

Most racist insults happen during daytime and during the working day (for 79% and 86% of victims). According to what victims say, most offenders were not under the effects of alcohol or drugs.

Most victims of racist insults have expressed that they were in a face-to-face situation (97%) and the use of mail, email and telephone has been only marginal.

Place where the verbal abuse took place

An insult of a racist nature mainly happens in the street (38%); public areas (public transport and commercial establishments) are the venue for most victims (58%). 42% of victims said that they had been insulted in a private area, principally in the work place or where they study.

You can access further information by consulting the following documents:

More related information available on the blog:

The website of the Mossos d’Esquadra: Hatred and discrimination


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