Meeting of the independent commission on incest and sexual violence against children

The Independent Commission on Incest and Child Sexual Abuse (CIIVISE) is organizing a meeting open to the public In Rouen, this Tuesday, June 14th from 5pm.In the hall of the Museum of Fine Arts. Edouard Durand, judge and co-chair of this commission, answers the questions of France Bleu Normandy.

Edward Durand What is the purpose of this meeting?

It is to open a gathering space for all people who were victims of sexual violence in their childhood, who can come if they wish to listen to others and speak for themselves, if they wish. It is their will. It is also a gathering space with the whole community, as it is a public meeting. Every time professionals, committed people and associations come in as well. It is a moment of solidarity and recognition. All people are welcome.

This is the seventh flight of your commission. In the testimonies you have collected, during previous encounters, what facts, and words that come up most often?

There is anger and hope in all who testify. Within six months, we received more than 12,000 certificates. And every time everyone says:I testify for myself and so that children do not experience what I have experienced.” Then what we also hear is the suffering of confronting sexual violence, the suffering associated with impunity for abusers and a great desire for change. We must listen to this word as received. This word is legitimate in itself.

Your business started a year ago and will continue until next year. At the end of March, I published tentative conclusions. Among them, she says, justice should be “at the peak of the child,” once sexual violence has been identified. What does that mean concretely?

This means that a child who is faced with sexual violence, and then with criminal proceedings, carries within him a need for justice at the child level. This means that we, professionals in social work and justice, lawyers, judges and others, must apply our professional techniques, so that the child understands what is happening. This means that there are protocols for interviewing child victims that respect their words, and allow them to be heard, without introducing speech bias. This means that a criminal trial is not a wasteland where all shots are allowed. When a child, even if he has become an adult after 40 years of the events, enters the hearing room of a criminal court, he or she should feel safe. This is justice at the height of the child.

However, Defender of Rights regrets, and I quote, “very brief investigations” into this type of case, and judgment times are too long. What do you answer?

We agree with the rights defender, whom we met recently.

How do you go faster?

We must first understand that when a child reveals violence, if he is not immediately protected, he loses confidence in the adult world. We should seek the words of child victims: this is called systematic identification. Ask all the children the following question: Has anyone ever hurt you? And if the child reveals violence, especially sexual violence, or incest, then he must be placed in safety, until he grows up, until he sleeps, until he learns and becomes the woman or man who is called. to become. That’s the first thing. And then the second thing, which is to explain to him the progress of a criminal investigation, that is, to allow him to understand a timeline.

Do you think a child can understand that?

Yes, of course. I’ve been a children’s judge for nearly 20 years. I work with children and therefore you should be able to speak in a way that the child understands what is being said to him, in childhood words. Children are serious people, and children who have been victims of rape or sexual abuse, and therefore suffer severely, need adults to explain to them what is going to happen.

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