Physical, sexual, and mental health

No matter what form it takes, being subjected to any type of violence can affect your mental, sexual, and physical health. In France, you can access high quality healthcare regardless of your financial situation or residency rights.

Domestic abuse can have significant effects on your health. In France, you can receive health care no matter what your financial situation is, and regardless of your residency rights.

If you have been subjected to female genital mutilation, there are organisations and professionals that can support you during your recovery – whether it's psychological or surgical. These professionals are highly experienced in supporting women in the same situation.

If you have stable employment or residence in France, you are entitled to cover for your health costs throughout your life. The state health insurance system is called the “Protection universelle maladie (PUMA)”, also known as the “sécurité sociale”.

The role of the “Aide médicale de l’État (AME)” or state medical assistance programme is to provide people who do not have residency rights with access to care.

The “carte vitale” is a healthcare card that ensures your healthcare expenses are easily reimbursed in France. It is free or charge. You can apply for one as soon as you have registered with the state health insurance system known as the “Protection universelle maladie”, also referred to as “sécurité sociale” or social security.

To be reimbursed as much as possible for your healthcare expenses, it is generally advised to take out a private health insurance policy known as a “mutuelle”. It is complementary to the state health insurance system known as “Protection universelle maladie”, also referred to as social security or “sécurité sociale”.

If you have few or no financial resources and are enrolled in the state health insurance system known as social security or “sécurité sociale”, you can apply for “Complémentaire santé solidaire (CSS)”. It covers any health expenses that are not fully reimbursed under social security.


My ex boyfriend never hit me, his attacks were mostly verbal. I hadn't realised how much it had affected me. I developed an eating disorder and serious insomnia, but I had not made the connection with the violence I had suffered. A friend convinced me to go see a psychologist, who diagnosed me with post-traumatic stress disorder. I was in therapy for several months. Today I feel much better.

“Emily” - Ireland - 27 years old

After our separation, I was depressed. I always felt tired, exhausted. I could no longer do certain daily tasks. I felt useless. I started having suicidal thoughts. That's when I decided to see a psychiatrist. He reassured me that what I was going through was normal, and that I had no mental illness.

“Linh” - Vietnam - 62 years old

Following the separation from my partner, I was in a very difficult situation: I had no papers, no job, and no money. I needed to see a doctor but I didn't even know how I was going to be able to afford it. I found out that I could get state medical help, and that was a huge relief. I was able to see a doctor and receive the medication I needed without paying anything. I have since obtained a residence permit which has allowed me to find a job, so I no longer need this help.

“Adama” - Ivory Coast - 34 years old

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