What Is The Age Of Consent In France? Sexual Violence Prompts Rethink

by Garry Watts Марта 7, 2018, 6:51
What Is The Age Of Consent In France? Sexual Violence Prompts Rethink

The change is part of a wider law "against sexist and sexual violence" that will be presented to the council of ministers on March 21. Current legislation criminalises sex with a child under the age of 15-years-old, but with the caveat that prosecutors must also prove that the sexual act was forced.

France plans to make 15 the age of sexual consent after a public outcry over two cases of sex involving 11-year-old girls, Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa said on Monday.

Currently, France does not have a rule saying a child under a certain age is considered incapable of consenting to sex.

Seven experts assigned by the government in February recommended the threshold and advocated for two new rape and sexual consent offenses whereby cases involving sexual relations with a person below 15 years of age would be considered an offense.

Lawmakers have proposed that the age of consent be raised to 15, after consulting with the public and a panel of experts.

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Sentences are the same for sexual assaults of minors and non-minors, but rape convictions carry much harsher punishments.

In November, a court acquitted one of the men, aged 30, of rape, having determined his victim had faced no "constraint, threat, violence or surprise" - the definition of rape under French law. In another case, a 28-year-old man was charged with "sex with a minor" after the court concluded that his 11-year-old victim was not forced to have sex.

Schiappa told the news agency that she was "very glad" that the age limit decided by the government was 15. However, in February, the court reversed the decision and said the man should indeed face rape charges, although it asked for the trial to be moved to a higher court. President Emmanuel Macron also supports the limit.

Once implemented it will criminalize any sexual conduct with any minor under that age.

Minister of Solidarity and Health Agnes Buzyn said setting a legal age of sexual consent would allow a "collective awareness" and that everyone would see what was "legal and illegal", Le Figaro newspaper reported.

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