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What to do in the event of harassment?

Verified 30 novembre 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Harassment is the repetition of words and behaviors that have as their goal or effect a deterioration of the victim's living conditions. This has consequences for the physical or mental health of the harassed person.

The law punishes all forms of harassment, taking into account the frequency and content of acts.

These include, for example:

  • Vexatious acts or remarks
  • Threats
  • Insulting or obscene remarks
  • Phone calls, SMS or malicious email
  • Visits to the home or visits to the workplace

Harassment occurs regardless of the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim: colleagues, neighbors, students from the same school, married or not...

If your situation requires urgent intervention by the police, you can alert the police or the gendarmerie.

In case of emergency, and only in this situation, it is possible to alert the police or the gendarmerie by telephone call, or by SMS if you are unable to speak.

By phone

In an emergency, when a rapid response is required, you must call the emergency police.

Who shall I contact
  • Rescue police - 17

    By phone

    Dial 17 in the event of an emergency involving a traffic accident, a disturbance of public order or a criminal offense. A team of policemen or gendarmes will visit the site.

    You can also dial 112..

    If there is no emergency, call your police station or gendarmerie number.

    By SMS

    You can also send a free SMS to the 114.. If you cannot speak (danger, disability), you will then communicate in writing with your correspondent.

  • European emergency number - 112


    Emergency number to be used for a call from a European country or from a mobile phone


    Free call


If you have difficulty hearing or speaking, you can also send an SMS to the 114.. You will then communicate in writing with your correspondent.

Who shall I contact
  • Emergency number for people who cannot call - 114


    By SMS

    Free 24/7

    By emergency application 114

    Free 24/7

    Contact possible via:

    • Visiophony
    • Chat
    • Voice / Text Return

    Through the Internet portal

    Free 24/7

    Contact possible via:

    • Visiophony
    • Chat
    • Voice / Text Return

If the harassment is related to your gender or sexual orientation, you can contact the specialized police and gendarmerie service for victims of sexual or gender-based violence.

Report sexual or gender harassment

Ministry of the Interior

Harassment is punished in all situations and any evidence gathered by the victim can be admitted in court (testimonies of neighbors, copies of letters...).

How to file a complaint?

Any victim of harassment may lodge a complaint against the perpetrator. If the author is unknown, she can file a complaint against X.

On site

You must contact a police station or gendarmerie of your choice.

You cannot be denied receipt of the complaint.

The complaint is then transmitted to the public prosecutor by the police or the gendarmerie.

By mail

You can lodge a complaint directly with the public prosecutor. We need to send free paper letter the court of the place of the offense or the place of residence of the offender.

The letter must include the following:

  • Civil status and full contact information (address and telephone number) of the complainant
  • Detailed account of the facts, date and place of the offense
  • Assumed author's name if you know him (otherwise the complaint will be filed against X)
  • Names and addresses of potential witnesses to the offense
  • Description and provisional or final injury estimate
  • Evidence: medical certificates, work stoppages, various invoices, findings .....
  • Willingness to take part in civil proceedings

Make a complaint to the public prosecutor

Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Dila) - Prime Minister

You can send your complaint by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt or by simple letter. You can also file your complaint directly at the court reception. In all cases, a receipt will be given to you as soon as the public prosecutor's office has registered your complaint.

  FYI : an electronic complaint of moral and sexual harassment of a discriminatory nature on the Internet must be filed before the court of justice of Paris, when the acts were committed throughout the territory.

As a victim you can also claim damages..


A person who harasses may:

  • 1 year in prison
  • and €15,000 fine.

Aggravating circumstances exist if

  • the harassment resulted in a total incapacity for work of more than eight days (anxiety, stress...),
  • the victim is under 15 years of age,
  • the act was committed against a person whose particular vulnerability, due to his age, illness, infirmity, physical or mental disability or pregnancy, is apparent or known to the author.

If the act was committed with only one of these aggravating circumstances, the maximum penalty shall be:

  • 2 years in prison,
  • and €30,000 fine.

If the acts were committed with three or more of these aggravating circumstances, the maximum penalty shall be:

  • 3 years in prison,
  • and €25,000 fine.

There are specific penalties depending on the type of harassment.