France And America Aren’t So Different From One Another

I’ll be the first to admit how much culture shock I experienced when first setting foot in the United States. Flying in was a test of endurance, but I broke it up with a bit of travel — so I’ve seen more than just Los Angeles. My experiences traveling across the United States, coupled with my experiences traveling back at home, have left me with a sour taste in my mouth. Both countries have an equality problem.

I was sad to learn that there have already been over a hundred women murdered by lovers or family members — men, mostly — in France this year, and the number is quickly climbing. In a country with 67 million people, that might not seem like much, but to me it’s everything. And the numbers are even higher in the United States, especially proportionate to the 330 million people who reside here, but I’m not going to get into it.

The real issue is that the numbers are increasing slowly year by year.

I can’t help but wonder why that’s the case. Is it declining mental health? Is it the ease of finding or using a gun? Is it anger over the #MeToo movement? I don’t know.

Protesters are raging in Paris over this trend, and government officials have promised to launch a national “consultation” to address concerns, but the truth is this: not enough is being done to find out why it happens or prevent it from happening in the future. Those campaigning for office say they want to increase spending on domestic violence issues and do more to make sure abused women are sheltered from danger. But will they?

“The question is to allocate the resources to do it and we’re asking for a billion euros. A few days ago, Marlene Schiappa announced the allocation of one million euros. One million euros for a country like France is a paltry sum.”

And that’s the way it is here too. No matter how many promises politicians make, it’s never enough. They promise a particular dollar amount that will sound like a lot of money to the average citizen, but in reality it’s pennies compared to what’s available.

The United States House of Representatives reauthorized a 1994 law that helps provide aid to domestic violence victims: the Violence Against Women Act. But isn’t it true that reauthorizing a 25-year-old law isn’t nearly as good as building a new one? …A better one?

Not surprisingly, the NRA is opposed to the reauthorization legislation (and basically anything else that might help people, but that’s another matter entirely). It seems like even in 2019, we’re having a hard time learning how to be better.