Women called ‘whores’ for wearing shorts, men attacked in southern France

A French gendarme patrols on the beach during a visit of French Interior Minister in Toulon on August 14, 2016. BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images

Two families were attacked in southern France because the women were wearing shorts, according to local media reports.

The families, consisting of two couples, a friend and their three children, were on a bicycle path in Toulon Sunday when the altercation happened.

According to French newspaper Le Point, three men who defended the women were injured during the altercation.

Local media reported the women had vulgar insults hurled at them by a group of around 10 people because they were wearing shorts. One of the women involved came forward to French newspaper Var-matin saying they were wearing “sportswear,” not shorts.

READ MORE: Woman and 3 daughters stabbed for wearing shorts, T-shirts in southern France

Local prosecutors told media they were called “whores” and other insults due to the clothing they were wearing.

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“The male partners had simply asked [the attackers] to respect women and that sparked the fight,” prosecutor Bernard Marchal told reporters, according to the Telegraph. “This was provocation of a sexual nature with the intention of forcing a reaction out of the men present.”

Two people have been arrested so far. A 17- and a 19-year-old man went before the prosecutor Tuesday in the French city. Police continue to look for the other suspects involved in the incident.

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It’s not the first incident regarding clothing in the city.

In June, a young woman was attacked by a group of five other women on a bus because she was wearing shorts, Le Point reports.

Eighteen-year-old Maud Vallet took to Facebook to report the issue, posting an image which read “Hello, I am a slut.”

“We are in 2016 and I just got mugged because I wore shorts. Yes, shorts,” the post reads.

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After the attack, a “march in shorts” was organized in the city in support of the woman.

The incidents also follow on the heels of a separate clothing controversy in France where roughly 30 towns tried to ban the “burkini.”

READ MORE: Burkini makers in Israel see boost in sales after French controversy

The high court struck down the ban in one town, effectively invalidating the bans in other towns.

The United Nations has called the bans a “stupid reaction” to extremism and said it is “a grave and illegal breach of fundamental freedoms.”

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