Incest, French society ready to evolve after Camille Kouchner’s accusations?

The accusations made by Camille Kouchner against her stepfather, Olivier Duhamel, raise awareness of the seriousness but also of “impunity”, which characterizes incest in France.

Since the publication of Camille Kouchner’s book, La Familia Grande, in which she accuses her stepfather, Olivier Duhamel, of incest against his twin brother, the whole of society seems to discover the extent of these sexual crimes committed in the intimacy of the family sphere. After the #metoo movement, it is incest’s turn to be at the heart of a wide awareness in French society. The law of silence can no longer continue to impose itself against all odds, and the constitutionalist’s entourage is currently having a bitter experience of it. More generally, victims’ defense associations make their voices heard, so that this awareness is followed by changes in legislation. And two points currently crystallize the debates.

Extension of prescription or imprescriptibility?

The question of prescription raises questions. Since 2018 and the Schiappa law, the statute of limitations for sexual crimes against children has increased from 20 to 30 years. Some ask for imprescriptibility of these incestuous acts, while others wish to see this period pass to 50 years. For others, the question is not a priority, since they underline the difficulty or even the impossibility of carrying out an investigation 30 years after the fact.

The consent of the child still in question!

On the other hand, all the victims of incest and more generally of sexual crimes and all the associations involved agree on one point: the child’s consent never exists. Everyone wants this to be enshrined in law, so that the instructions can no longer ‘requalify’ incestuous rape as sexual abuse. Two bills will soon be examined. A first setting this limit at 13 years, a second setting it at 15 years for all children and 18 years in case of incest. It is this second proposal, which collects all the votes.

More generally, victims’ associations are fighting above all for the law to be completely rewritten in order to put everything on the table. Because beyond the sexual crime, incest is the ultimate taboo, that of breaking the family circle with all the consequences that this can cause.

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