Macron says France will tighten legal guidelines on youngster sexual abuse | Sexual Assault Information
The French leader says the country needs to better protect children as victims share testimonies of abuse on social media.
French President Emmanuel Macron said France would tighten its laws against child sexual abuse after the publication of a book accusing a political commentator from France of molesting his stepson and a massive social media campaign on the matter.
Macron said on his Twitter account on Saturday that France needed to adjust its laws to better protect children from sexual violence and that he had asked the Justice Minister to open a consultation to come up with legislative proposals quickly.
“We will follow up the attackers,” said Macron.
Macron said France had already increased the statute of limitations for incest to 30 years, counted from the legal age of the majority of victims and tightened controls on people who work with children, but he said much more needs to be done.
He said that as part of the current routine medical examinations for children, France would introduce sessions on incest in elementary and secondary schools to give children the opportunity to speak about the issue.
The French president also said better psychological support would be provided for victims of sex crimes.
“Today the shame turns’ from victims to perpetrators,” Macron said in a video posted on Twitter, hailing the fact that “people are feeling free to speak anywhere in France”.
“We are here. We listen to you. We believe you. And you will never be alone again.”
Social media campaign
In the past few weeks, hundreds of people have shared their stories of childhood incest and sexual abuse on social media – often using the hashtag #MeTooInceste – following the publication of the book accusing French professor and constitutional specialist Olivier Duhamel Abusing stepson.
The book was written by Duhamel’s stepdaughter, Camille Kouchner, the daughter of the former Foreign Minister and founder of the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders, known as Doctors Without Borders), Bernard Kouchner.
#metooinceste. My earliest memory was when I must have been 6 years old. My older brother…. recently told my parents, but as expected, they don’t believe me. I’m 59 now.
– Stefaan Verlinde (@StefVerlinde) January 19, 2021
After sharing my story with friends, colleagues or acquaintances: I’ve heard so many similar stories. This crime is not reported to so many survivors around us. You are all strong and deserve justice and healing ❤️ #MeTooInceste
– Angélique Bernabé (@AngeJBe) January 18, 2021
Duhamel resigned from his post as director of Sciences Po, one of France’s top universities, earlier this month after the book was published.
“As I am the subject of personal attacks and want to preserve the institutions in which I work, I have ended my functions,” he said on Twitter on January 4th.
Neither Duhamel nor his attorney have commented on the 1980s allegations.
University Minister Frederique Vidal has ordered an inspection at Sciences Po to determine responsibilities and possible shortcomings.
According to international studies by the World Health Organization, one in five women and one in 13 men say they were sexually abused as a child under the age of 18.
Experts say that secrecy sexual abuse, which is often related to the subject, is likely to be underestimated.