street harassment

Man Who Hit Woman After She Told Him to ‘Shut Up’ in Viral Video Sent to Jail

In late July, Marie Laguerre was walking back to her apartment in Paris, when a man began shouting at her. She told him to “shut up.” He did not take the retort lightly.

He immediately picked up an ashtray from a table at a nearby café and threw it at her, following her up the street and hitting her in the face. Now, Laguerre’s attacker has been found and sentenced to six months in jail, CNN reports.

“He hit me in the face, in the middle of the street, in front of dozens of people,” Laguerre wrote in a Facebook post accompanying video footage of the attack, which quickly went viral in France, receiving over 1 million views in under a week and sparking outrage across the globe. Shortly after the video’s release, French lawmakers approved a bill that would introduce on-the-spot fines for cat-calling and street harassment, after women in France campaigned on social media with the hashtag #NousToutes (“We All”) and #BalanceTonPorc (“Expose Your Pig”).

The man — who has not been named publicly — will serve an additional suspended term of six months, and will be obligated to pay Laguerre compensation, she wrote in an addendum to the original Facebook post.

“I am aware of the chance I had: to have had witnesses who reacted, that the bar kindly provided me with the video, the strong media that allowed important means set up by the police (which I thank for their work),” she wrote. “Thank you all for your support, which gave me a lot of strength, courage and hope. We all, as citizens, have the opportunity to move things. I encourage each and every one to denounce the sexist behaviour that they can witness. For a more just, more equal society, more inclusive for all and all.”

The first man to be prosecuted for street harassment under France’s new law was fined 300 euros (about $345) in September, after sexually assaulting a woman on a bus near Paris.

“This video shocked a lot of people, because they could actually see what could actually happen to women when she says no,” Laguerre told CNN. “They can also see that it’s not about seduction, it’s about domination, and it’s raising awareness that we need to listen to women, because they’ve been talking about this issue for years … We don’t feel safe.”

Man Who Hit Woman After She Told Him Off Sent to Jail