Progress in the fight against sexual violence against young people? On February 9, the Secretary of State for Children and Families, Adrien Taquet said on Europe 1 that the government was “in favor of defining a new crime“:”any act of sexual penetration committed by an adult on a 15-year-old minor is a crime, without there being any question of consent “.

Remove the notion of constraint

According to a government statement, this “new crime“would allow”ensure equal treatment of all underage victims and eliminate the notion of coercion exerted by the aggressor, which today constitutes a brake“.

Because currently, a conviction for rape or sexual assault supposes that the judges demonstrate the absence of consent through the concepts of “violence, threat, coercion or surprise“.

Evidence for Arnaud Gallais, double victim of incest and activist for the rights of the child: “A child cannot be consenting, this age threshold is necessary“.

Read also: Sexuality: why consent between an adult and a minor does not exist

An age gap of up to five years

However, an exception will be made: for “avoid criminalizing a consensual adolescent relationship that continues after coming of age“, the government wishes to introduce”an age gap of five years“, specifies the press release.

17.5 year old young man who has a relationship with 14.5 year old girl cannot become a criminal when he is 18 and one day“, gives as an example the Keeper of the Seals Eric Dupond-Moretti, commissioned with Adrien Taquet by Emmanuel Macron to develop proposals against sexual violence against young people and in particular against incest.

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Slippery prescription

What about the notion of prescription? On this subject, the government is proposing a “new legal mechanism“, said of”sliding prescription“. Its principle: to ensure that all victims of the same perpetrator can benefit from a trial.

With the current law, only the latest victim can file a complaint, while the other victims for whom the facts are prescribed1are there only as witnesses“, describes Adrien Taquet.

A good measure, recognizes Arnaud Gallais, who recalls the injustice suffered by victims for whom the acts are prescribed, especially during collective actions. But this mechanism presented as “new” is already the subject of an amendment proposed by Laurence Rossignol and adopted in the Senate on January 21, 2021, he observes.

To read also: Why do the facts of incest remain hidden so long?

A request for imprescripability

And the associations expected more: that sexual crimes against minors, in particular in cases of incest, become imprescriptible. “As a double victim of incest, the absence of imprescriptibility gives me immense pain“confides Arnaud Gallais to us.”I think of the children. It is about two children per class, one French in 10. The politicians could today stop the carnage and they do not do it, for lack of courage “ he laments.

For Adrien Taquet, imprescriptibility requires a “great precaution“. According to him, “a number of victims speak once the prescription has passed“, because “that’s what has a trigger for them“. Analysis “moved” who “benefits the aggressor“reacts Arnaud Gallais, who today says he is”angry” in front of the many points that have still not been addressed.

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The problem of incest

He regrets in particular that no announcement has been made on incest, even though Emmanuel Macron had promised answers after the wave of #MeTooIncest. “I await an age threshold of 18 in the event of incest, I await the imprescriptibility of incest, I await support for the victims and clarity on the means to achieve this everywhere in France, I am also awaiting recognition of traumatic amnesia“he lists.

But the government remains today in a “denial of victim trauma” who is “insupportable“for the activist.”Things are announced with a lot of violence, we are told “we will think about it”, “it’s from the past”, “not now”, as when we talk about incest in the family “ breathes Arnaud Gallais. But “owe are not going to let go“he promises.

Next step, in the National Assembly: a bill by Socialist MP Isabelle Santiago, aimed at specifically repressing incest, is to be debated on February 18.

1Sexual crimes against minors are currently prescribed 30 years after the victim comes of age.