When a 22-year-old woman called out a man for wolf-whistling at her, she never anticipated his violent response.
Video of the confrontation has been viewed over 1.5 million times on the Facebook page of the woman involved.
Last Tuesday Parisian student Marie Laguerre was walking home from class when she was confronted by an unknown man, according to her Facebook post.
The man started wolf-whistling and making provocative comments at Ms Laguerre as she passed by.
In retaliation, Ms Laguerre yelled, “shut up!” and the man responded by picking up an ash tray from a café table which he reportedly threw at her.
But that was not the end of it as the CCTV footage from a nearby café shows, with the man walking towards the woman, pointing his arm at her in an aggressive manner.
“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 apologise,” she told local outlet ‘Le Parisien’, reported news.com.au.
At this point the man walks up to Ms Laguerre hitting her on the head as stunned onlookers watch.
The man then walks away and apart from a diner who picks up a chair and points it at the assailant, patrons of the café eventually carry on with their drinks. Ms Laguerre appears shocked but then walks away.
The video has sparked widespread outrage and a national debate about street harassment in France.
Most Sydney women have experienced street harassment
According to Plan International’s report on street harassment in Sydney, called ‘Sexism in the City’ 85% of women surveyed had experienced street harassment more than once.
“Almost a quarter (22%) of young women in Sydney are harassed once a month or more, with more than 1 in 10 facing it on at least a weekly basis,” said the report.
“Around 3 out of 4 young women (77%) have been harassed when there were witnesses present, yet only 1 in 6 (16%) had ever had a witness or bystander step in to help them,” the report said.
The study found that amongst other initiatives, 96 per cent of women surveyed believe that city councils have a responsibility to take women’s safety more seriously, while 87.6 per cent believe that a cultural shift in male behaviour is required to prevent street harassment.