Catcalling man punches woman who called him out

A young Frenchwoman on Monday called for a clampdown on sexual harassment after being assaulted by a man in broad daylight outside a packed Paris cafe.

The horrifying attack on Marie Laguerre, 22, was captured on video and has caused national anger and soul-searching.

The video shows the student strolling home in the early evening before an unidentified bearded man “made dirty noises, commented and whistled.”

Laguerre shouts “Shut up!” back, later admitting, “I didn’t even think he had even heard me.”

The man then grabbed an ashtray from a cafe table and threw it at an increasingly irritated Laguerre, who shouted more insults.

She told Le Parisien: “I felt hatred. I refused to be demeaned, it was humiliating. I refused to look down, I looked him right in the eyes, I was not going to apologize.”

It was then that the man slapped her in the face, leaving her with swelling around her cheekbones.

She said: “I was in pain, but it happened in a few seconds so I did not realize it right away.”

One of the most disturbing aspects of the video, which has gone viral in France, is that people sitting in the café do very little except for standing up and looking shocked.

Some men, including one who looks like a waiter, grab chairs, but nothing is done to keep the assailant away from Laguerre.

Despite this, Laguerre said: “To all those who say that the witnesses did not react well enough — everything happened very quickly and they did not have time to understand the situation.”

“The attacker was dangerous. After the attack, I came back and the witnesses were very supportive, please don’t lynch them.”

The attack took place around 6:45 p.m. July 24 and has triggered a national debate about the way women are treated on the streets of France.

“I feel my adrenaline and stress levels rise when I’m in the street,” Laguerre said following the attack.

“The problem is the systematic insecurity that women suffer as a result of men. Some men think that the street belongs to them and that we have no business being there.”

Laguerre wrote on her Facebook page: “This is not the only incident. Harassment is everyday. To those men who think anything goes in the street, who allow themselves to humiliate us and who can not stand being offended, it is unacceptable. It is time for this kind of behavior to STOP. #AllWomenTogether.”

Prosecutors have launched an inquiry into “violence and sexual harassment,” as police try to find the attacker.

French Equalities Minister Marlene Schiappa added her voice to those supporting Laguerre, saying she was “outraged but unfortunately not surprised” by what had happened.

Pointing to new legislation that will see sexist men fined, Schiappa said: “The political response must be strong.”

A new government bill will outlaw “annoying, following, and threatening a woman,” and the first fines are likely to be introduced this autumn.

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