Broadcast of a rape video: "Twitter is not up to par," reacts Marlène Schiappa

The Secretary of State for Equality between Women and Men immediately contacted Twitter on Friday when she learned of the dissemination on social networks of images of the rape of a young girl in Essonne.

How does the fact that rape is filmed and published on the web aggravate the trauma of the victim?

MARLÈNE SCHIAPPA. The very idea that these images, illegal in themselves, can be seen, commented on, shared is a second trauma which is added to the first, rape. The risk, which often occurs, is that the victim sees this abject video himself. It is a third trauma, something absolutely terrible, which is part of the aggressor's strategy to terrorize her. It's a way of saying Everyone will see that you have been raped, you will be ashamed. As long as the victims have this feeling, they do not talk about it, do not file a complaint. This impunity for the aggressors must end, shame change sides.

Why is such a video not immediately deleted?

As soon as I learned about it, I immediately contacted Twitter to have it removed. But copies are still circulating. This social network is not up to par, criminals know it, that's why they use it. It is clear that compliance with the laws and the safety of Internet users is not their priority. Despite complaints, thousands of reports, hate accounts, sexist, homophobic, racist, are still online. Twitter has to take responsibility.

What should you do if you come across one of these online sequences?

First of all, we must not share them even if we want to denounce them. It is necessary to report to Twitter as well as to the Pharos device (Platform for harmonization, analysis, cross-checking and orientation of reports) which will be handled by police and gendarmes. This is evidence that helps investigators. I have just made an assessment with the prefecture of Essonne, they told me very clearly that the video, which has been the subject of thousands of reports, had made it possible to identify the two alleged perpetrators of this rape. They are in police custody as I speak to you. They are teenagers but that does not excuse anything. Respect for women must apply to all ages and to all the territories of the Republic. We cannot allow the idea that in the city stairwells, we could rape young girls with impunity to take hold.

Should the law be strengthened?

It's already the case. Since last year, Internet users who insult victims can be condemned like those who retweet this type of video. But, while this is undoubtedly the case, I still read comments which say that this young girl was not raped because she is not struggling. They have no awareness of what a crime is. After me too, you could think that the concept of consent was now known and understood by everyone. Obviously, this is not the case. It is a problem of education.

A new hashtag # Jaiétéviolée was born on Twitter. Many women, who will file a complaint, denounce poor care in the police stations.

Yes, I understand them completely. That is why for the past two years we have been working hard on this problem. Since 2019, mandatory training has been implemented on gender-based and sexual violence. The police and gendarmes learn there the phenomenon of sway, of amazement, how to welcome a victim, to respect his trauma. Many of them tell us that it has become a priority. We are doing everything so that women are better listened to and complaints are finally brought to justice.

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