A LEGAL INTERPRETER PROVIDING ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS
PUPSF is committed to defending the right of victims to understand and be understood
PROJET "UN JURISTE LINGUISTE POUR TOUS"
A few months ago, the Clermont-Ferrand branch turned towards the issue of domestic violence. Additionally, last March the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region launched an emergency plan to assist victims of domestic violence. Women represent 53% of the region's recent immigration population, and every year 219,000 women are victims of domestic violence in France. This is why PUPSF has created a linguistic support project for these women to whom speaking out is necessary but challenging without speaking French. It is crucial that we are able to hear them, but how can we help them without understand them? What do they know about their rights?
Based on this observation and after studying the different regional territories, our branch contacted local structures, actors and elected officials in order to present the project. Faced with numerous feedback on the real needs and difficulties of victims, our branch managers decided to duplicate the project within cities where the needs for assistance was most pressing. Our aim was to act locally and support the associations and structures already in place, knowing that the needs for interpretation are not always covered because of their significant cost. In 2018, there are 6.5 million immigrants in France, 52% of whom are women.
Our team created a flyer and an information sheet containing useful phone numbers, victims' rights and measures applicable to these situations of violence. These documents have been translated by our volunteer interpreters into twenty languages and made available to the structures that receive victims. Additional solutions can be proposed in collaboration with the structures that accompany the victims. These include: a multilingual hotline, cultural mediation and legal information sessions in family law with the presence of an interpreter, assistance in informing and explaining to the perpetrators the legal measures and penalties incurred (restraining orders, protection measures), as well as the possible care paths. Thanks to the diversity of volunteers who are native speakers and who know their country of origin well, the association is able to understand local laws and customs of the victims' and perpetrators' countries.
More than 50 languages spoken:
As of the 12th of July 2022, our team of volunteer interpreters and translators is able to carry out missions of linguistic assistance in the following languages:
European languages : English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek and Dutch
Central European and Oriental Languages: Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Georgian, Armenian, Polish, Estonian, Romanian, Moldavian, Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, Montenegrin, Albanian, Bulgarian and Romani
Languages spoken in North Africa and Middle East: Classical Arabic and dialects (Sudanese, Iraqi, Syrian, Lebanese, Egyptian, North African), Turkish, Kurdish Kurmandji and Kurdish Sorani
Languages of Central Asia and South-East Asia: Chinese, Teochew, Korean, Vietnamese, Bengali, Hindi, Indonesian, Malaysian, Ourdou, Pachto, Farsi, Turkish and Dari
African Languages : Comorian, Swahili, Pidgin, Yoruba, Sango, Lingala, Wolof, Peulh
Article published in "La Montagne", 9th June 2020
Assisting Women Victims to Express Themselves
Each year, 219,000 women are victims of domestic violence. Few of them are willing to talk about it and only 19% of them file a complaint at the gendarmerie or the police station, because of fear or lack of knowledge of the procedures.
“And it is even more complicated for a foreign victim who struggles to speak or does not speak French at all. To this can be added extra obstacles, such as the economic insecurity of women who are dependent on their husbands. Additionally, complications can arise as these women are often waiting for official documents or are in complicated situations…” discusses Alexandra Halle, founder of the association for international solidarity, Pour une Planète sans Frontières (PUPSF) which has a branch in Clermont-Ferrand.
Over 20 languages spoken
“In order to give these women the right to understand and be understood”, PUPSF which defends the rights of foreigners has decided to publish information and flyers consisting of useful numbers, the rights of victims, and measures applicable to situations of violence. “These documents are distributed to regional structures which defend and accompany victims, and will be available in over 20 languages such as English, Spanish, Italien, Portuguese, Russian, Georgian, Polish, Albanian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Hindi, Arabic, and some African languages (Lingala, Peulh, Wolof, Sango, Somalian).
The first in AuRa
These translations will enable the targeting of linguistic communities that are the most represented”, specifies PUPSF which consists of over 100 volunteers, interpreters, translators, legal experts and researchers, who speak over 50 languages.
Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is the first region to benefit from this project that, according to Alexandra Halle, could be developed in other regions if need be.