Associations and professionals of the child protection say Sunday, “unanimously disappointed” by the law against sexual and gender based violence, denouncing a “status quo” in the protection of minors and accusing the government of attacks against them. In a column published on the website of the Journal du dimanche, associations of victims, prominent feminists such as Caroline De Haas and Florence Montreynaud, or the psychiatrist Muriel Salmona express their “immense anger” not to have “an age threshold to protect the children of rape,” in this text, enacted in early August.
FORUM. “Law Schiappa, the child protection in berne” https://t.co/SLtVQB82w5
— The JDD (@leJDD) August 19, 2018
“The law Schiappa will not protect children better,” write the 55 signatories, recalling that in two recent cases of girls as young as 11 years old have been considered by the court as consenting to sex with men major. For them, the “issue remains unchanged,” since “this law maintains the quasi-status quo in the field of child protection in France, a sector totally in berne”. “Not only does this act disappoints unanimously all professionals or experts in the protection of childhood, whose hopes were great but, in addition, the secretariat of State and its supporters have the wit to attack us because of critical legitimate and fair”, they add. Saying “the subject of a propaganda of libelous and false particularly virulent on the social networks aimed at silencing all critical voices,” they regret “a broken novel” between a State secretariat and actors of the child protection and the fight against sexual violence.
Strengthen the punishment of rape and sexual abuse on minors
The law brought by the secretary of State Marlène Schiappa has the particular objective of strengthening the repression of rape and sexual abuse perpetrated on minors. It adds the precision that “when (these) acts which are committed on a minor of 15 years”, “the moral constraint or surprise are characterized by the abuse of the vulnerability of the victim do not possess the necessary discernment for these acts.”
This formulation, which aims to help the judges establish a rape, is far from the initial intention to establish a “presumption of non-consent”. This meant that any penetration on a minor under 15 years of age was automatically considered rape.
Saying that such automaticity might be rejected by the constitutional Council, the government had finally abandoned this idea, arousing the public criticism repeated many associations and parliamentarians.
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