Outrage as women are punched on streets of Paris and London

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A man in Paris was caught on video sexually harassing a woman and then slapping her when she resisted his advances, The Guardian is reporting. While there is no sound, in the comments Laguerre said she was walking outside a cafe when the man made "dirty noises, comments" and whistled at her.

Laguerre's Facebook page filled up with supportive comments, in French and in English, congratulating her for standing up to her attacker. In a scene that has shocked an entire nation, a man approached her in broad daylight, struck her in the face and somehow managed to get away.

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.

Prosecutors have launched an inquiry into "violence and sexual harassment", as police try to find the attacker. "Stop harassment!" Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in response to a tweet by Laguerre. "I didn't think he'd hear, but he did", she said, BBC has reported. "I can not shut up and we must not shut up", Ms Laguerre wrote in the post.

The blow to the 22-year-old architecture student's face was hit so hard she fell against a glass barrier of the cafe terrace.

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She said the government is preparing to push through this autumn a law that will punish sexual harassment in public spaces with on-the-spot fines, part of President Emmanuel Macron's pledge to combat sexism. "The video demonstrates why women are sometimes not feeling safe when walking in the streets".

In the video, taken by a sidewalk cafe surveillance camera and provided to LaGuerre by the cafe owners, the alleged aggressor can be seen crossing paths with LaGuerre as the two pass each other going in opposite directions. Because I do not tolerate this kind of behavior [sic]. But for millions of women around the world, the idea that a harasser might become physically violent when confronted is not surprising at all. "It happens everyday; everywhere and I don't know a single woman who doesn't have a similar story".

"To all those who say that the witnesses did not react well enough: everything happened very quickly and they did not have time to understand the situation".

The Me Too movement has not been as successful in France as it has in the US.

In Australia, one in four women have experienced workplace sexual harassment, but only a fifth of those women ever formally report the harassment.

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