In just one weekend, tens of thousands of incestuous rape victims posted their testimonies on Twitter with #MeTooIncest.
Launched by the NousToutes collective, the hashtag aimed to react to the publication of the book “La familia grande”. In this book, Camille Kouchner denounces the incest of which her twin brother was a victim at the hands of Olivier Duhamel, their stepfather. On January 16 at noon, 180 people were instructed to tweet at the same time to create momentum. The first tweet read this:
I was 5. In one evening, my mother’s brother upset my candor and clouded the course of the rest of my life. In a second, I was 100 years old. #MetooIncest
– Marie Chenevance (@MChenevance) January 14, 2021
Many of them then followed, like this testimony dated January 18:
One day an adult invited himself to a practice of the act on me, when I was 7 years old. I kept this moment, its smell, its breath, in me for more than 40 years. Until the day when my mother died, I spat the song out to my family.
This man is 75 years old.#metooincest
– Jérôme Andrey (@ JrmeAndrey3) January 18, 2021
“Delivered to pedophiles”
Among the testimonies of Internet users, the psychiatrist and media figure in the fight against sexual violence Muriel Salmona slipped hers:
– Muriel Salmona (@memoiretrauma) January 16, 2021
This psychiatrist who works on psychotrauma had already mentioned her own story under two hashtags, #JeSuisVictime and #IWas, respectively in March and June 2020. But it was after this hashtag #MeTooInceste that she was questioned and was therefore able to tell more .
“At 6 years old, my life came to a halt,” she begins. It was at this age that his mother took him to a villa where three or four men were waiting for him. She remembers digital penetrations, but her traumatized memory prevents her from remembering everything. From her 6 to 11 years, Muriel Salmona has very few memories. “In college, I got out of the water,” she says.
“A historic moment”
According to Patrick Loiseleur, vice-president of the association Face à inceste, this hashtag born from the publication of Camille Kouchner’s book is more than welcome. “This is not the first victim of incest to speak, but with the impact that the book had, we have an impressive wave of testimonies. We feel a form of relief and satisfaction, because silence is part of incest, ”he explains.
Muriel Salmona shares this enthusiasm: “We are at a historic moment”, according to her. It was prepared in successive and stronger waves, starting with the DSK affair to the hashtag #MeToo. “When Camille Kouchner’s book arrived, I said ‘that’s it, it’s going to be a blast’. The media have taken over in an exemplary fashion. As soon as the media is on the side of the victims, it secures the ground for the victims to speak up. “
“A public health problem”
According to Patrick Loiseleur, the public authorities do not sufficiently take into account the problem of incest. “For tobacco, there is ‘tobacco info services’, a number that you can call. But ‘incest info services’ doesn’t exist, ”he regrets. “It has been 20 years that people say that incest should be treated as a public health problem. As with road safety, prevention and repression are needed. “
For Muriel Salmona, the government is not at all up to the challenge. “There is a clear lack of political will,” she said indignantly. “Yet it is an international obligation, and France could be tried by an international tribunal. “
One in 10 French people are victims of incest
The first gesture that the government could make according to Patrick Loiseleur would be to measure exactly the impact of incest in France. The latest figure available is an Ipsos survey carried out in November 2020 for the association Face à l’inceste: almost one in 10 respondents claimed to have been a victim. “This represents 6.7 million people in France,” comments Patrick Loiseleur.
However, he sees a positive part in this figure: in a previous survey in 2009, the number of incest victims represented only 2 million people in France. “It is therefore that society is in the process of changing”, he welcomes
Muriel Salmona adds that health professionals should be trained in this issue. “Psychotrauma is the cause of 70% of psychiatric disorders, according to international studies. However, 80% of health professionals do not make the link between the two, according to our survey. However, it is easy to set up, you just need to impose training! “