French elite and sexual abuse: two words never so close

In recent weeks, hundreds of complaints against sexual violence have hit France, forcing President Emmanuel Macron to tackle a subject that has remained such taboo until today.

The allegations of sexual violence reported by the victims affect all fields of French society. The first to have been accused was François Asselineau, who during the last presidential elections was a candidate to get France out of the European Union. Afterwards, the civil defense also had to face various accusations of violence, including those of a young 25-year-old girl who claims to have been raped by about twenty firefighters when she was a teenager and suffered from severe psychiatric problems.

The world of culture is not spared either. Among the most important charges we have that of Gabriel Matzneff, a writer accused of pedophilia, and of Dominique Boutonnat president of the National Center of Cinematography, considered close to Macron and under investigation for sexual assault and attempted rape.

The most striking case, however, is linked to the publication of the book “La Familia Grande”, in which Camille Kouchner, lawyer and daughter of former Foreign Minister Bernard, talks about the harassment of her twin brother at the hands of the famous political scientist and constitutionalist Olivier Duhamel.

The revelations had such a great effect that they also hit the prestigious University of Sciences Po, considered the institution of the French ruling elite and where Duhamel taught. According to Kouchner herself, many were aware of the facts but no one has ever reported him. Among these also the director of Sciences Po, Frédéric Mion. On February 9, Mion left his position after an investigation conducted by the Ministry of Education, through which it was confirmed that the manager knew and had voluntarily covered Duhamel.

In order to try healing the scandals of these recent days, the government has formulated a bill which defines a crime any act of sexual penetration committed on minors under the age of 15. As a matter of fact the mitigation of the consent by the victim will be excluded, which could exonerate the accused.

Finally, it is important to note that the web has played a key role in this process. In fact, in recent days, activist Anna Toumazoff has launched the hashtag #SciencesPorcs, after a student of SciencesPo Toulouse published an open letter in which she recounted the rape she had suffered inside the university.

Written by Simone Lepore



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