Europe

#MeTooInceste: French share stories of family sexual abuse

Social media users in France have spread viral hashtags #MeTooInceste and #MeTooGay to share testimonies of their experiences of sexual violence.

The online movement was launched after a recent book release, which accused a high-profile French political scientist of abusing his stepson.

The book was written by the twin sister of the alleged victim and has opened up a huge conversation about sexual violence suffered within the family circle.

The subject of the publication has not directly addressed the allegations but has resigned from positions following its release, while prosecutors in Paris have opened an investigation.

#MeToo rose to prominence amid sexual-abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein in 2017, allowing others on social media to share their experiences.

Nous Toutes, a French feminist movement similar to #MeToo, said that “tens of thousands of tweets” had been shared using #MeTooInceste last weekend. One legal scholar also described the accounts as “heartbreaking”.

“This is the biggest wave of testimonies on sexual violence suffered by children in our country,” Nous Toutes said on Twitter.

En Marche politician Alexandra Louis stated that incest remains a taboo subject in France, but has called for further recognition of the issue.

“We must raise awareness, train, detect so that the whole of society is mobilised in the face of incest.”

France’s Secretary of State for the Family, Adrien Taquet, has stated that the matter is being taken seriously by the country’s government, amid calls for further application of the law.

Following in the footsteps of #MeToo and #MeTooInceste, #MeTooGay began to trend around the country this week, as users shared stories of homosexual abuse.

“Gender-based and sexual violence is a scourge that we must fight collectively,” tweeted Elisabeth Moreno, France’s Minister Delegate for Equality.

The victims must be believed, listened to, and supported”.

Click on the player to watch Seana Davis’ report on the spread of #MeTooInceste.

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