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Commission Calls for End of Statute of Limitations on Child Sex Abuse

PARIS (AP) — A French commission investigating sexual violence against children on Friday called for the removal of time limits on prosecuting people suspected of raping or sexually assaulting minors.

The Independent Commission on Incest and Sexual Violence against Children, known by its French acronym CIIVISE, also recommended that child sexual abuse be defined as a separate crime in the law if it occurs within a family.

The statute of limitations for sex crimes against children in France is 30 years from the age of 18, when the victim becomes a legal adult. The commission said in a report released Friday that the statute of limitations needs to be abolished because it can take decades for victims to reach adulthood. Raise your voice.

The independent panel of experts was set up two years ago following child abuse accusations by a prominent French political expert, which led to a massive social media campaign and hundreds of people accused of sexual abuse as children. I shared how I received it.

According to the report’s findings, 160,000 children in France are victims of sexual violence every year. Its conclusions and recommendations are based on the reports of her 27,000 victims analyzed by experts over a two-year period.

The victims named in the report were on average eight years old when the sexual abuse began, and 80% of them were abused by family members. The current statute of limitations prevents three-quarters of these survivors from seeking justice in court, the report said.

In French, the word “incest” is widely used to refer to any sexual activity between members of the same family, including the abuse of children, stepchildren, and younger siblings.

The 2021 accusations against top political expert Olivier Duhamel have sparked a debate about France’s response to domestic child abuse. A book written by Duhamel’s stepdaughter, Camille Kushner, accused Duhamel of abusing her twin brother in the late 1980s, when the brothers were 13 years old.

French law allows minors to consent to sex until 2021, and there are cases in which adults convicted of sexual assault receive lighter prison sentences than if they were charged with rape. Ta.

Sexual assault is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of 150,000 euros (about $163,000), while rape is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The French government ultimately proposed a law that would prohibit children under the age of 15 from consenting to sex with adults, effectively closing the loophole in the law.

Some child protection groups still want statutory rape to become a criminal offense. Many activists are also calling for the removal of the statute of limitations for child sexual assault and rape.

The World Health Organization says international research shows that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 13 men report being sexually abused as a child before the age of 18. announced that it has been done. Experts say sexual abuse is likely underdiagnosed because it is often shrouded in secrecy. .

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