French president Emmanuel Macron pledges to toughen laws on child sex abuse, tells victims 'we believe you'

The French government made the pledged after a massive online movement saw hundreds of victims share accounts about sexual abuse within their families over the past week

The Associated Press January 24, 2021 12:08:27 IST
French president Emmanuel Macron pledges to toughen laws on child sex abuse, tells victims 'we believe you'

Signs on the wall reads "Duhamel, and the others, you will never be in peace" referring to prominent French political expert, Olivier Duhamel. AP

Paris: Amid a national French reckoning with sexual abuse of children by family members, President Emmanuel Macron told victims Saturday: “We believe you. You will never again be alone.”

The French government pledged on Thursday to toughen laws on the rape of children after a massive online movement saw hundreds of victims share accounts about sexual abuse within their families over the past week.

In a video message posted on social networks Saturday, Macron promised sexual abuse screening and prevention meetings with every child, both in elementary school and middle school. He said the state health care system would finance psychological treatment for children who are victims of sexual violence, and said more should be done to address the problem.

“Shattered lives in the sanctuary of a child’s room. Stolen childhoods during family vacations, or times that should have been innocent,” Macron said. “These testimonies, these words, these cries, no one can ignore them anymore. Against sexual violence against our children, it is now up to us to act.”

The World Health Organization say international studies show that one in five women and one in 13 men report having been sexually abused as a child aged under 18. Experts say sexual abuses are likely to be underestimated amid secrecy often surrounding the issue.

The outpouring of testimonies in France under the hashtag #MeTooInceste comes in the wake of child sex abuse accusations involving a prominent French political expert. That has also unleashed a wave of accounts by men revealing long-secret memories of sexual abuse by other men under the hashtag #MeTooGay.

Updated Date:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

Rare Paris painting by Van Gogh to be exhibited ahead of Sotheby’s auction
Arts & Culture

Rare Paris painting by Van Gogh to be exhibited ahead of Sotheby’s auction

Street Scene in Montmartre depicts a windmill named the Pepper Mill, seen from the street under a bright sky, with a man, a women and a little girl walking in front of wooden palisades that surrounded the place.

Tokyo Olympics 2020: USA to begin quest for fourth straight men’s basketball gold against France
Sports

Tokyo Olympics 2020: USA to begin quest for fourth straight men’s basketball gold against France

The mighty US, aiming to win their fourth straight gold and 16th in total, will face the French at Saitama Stadium, north of the Japanese capital, on the first day of the basketball competition.

France to lock horns with arch-rivals All Blacks in 2023 Rugby World Cup opener
Sports

France to lock horns with arch-rivals All Blacks in 2023 Rugby World Cup opener

The two nations have combined to deliver some of the most storied matches in the tournament's history, including the 1987 and 2011 finals, both won by the All Blacks.