The French government is making some valiant strides to nullify childhood sexual-abuse cases throughout the country. Lawmakers have proposed that the age consent be raised to 15, after consulting with the public and a panel experts. This decision comes after two high-prile cases rape involving 11 year-old girls which has sparked outrage throughout the land.
France’s Equality Minister Marlene Shippa admits that “I think we must reaffirm the existing law that sets the age sexual majority at 15, and make sure that there are trials for rape and not for sex assault.”
According to laws that are currently practiced in the country, prosecutors have to prove that any sexual relations with someone under the age 15 was non-consensual in order to be convicted rape. However, this will change alongside the bill that is being proposed.
This new law will effectively create a new threshold, which will criminalize sexual activity with a minor under 15, as well as a legal assumption that the child was coerced. Furthermore, this formal decree will also pit the onus on the adult who would have to prove that the child gave consent, as opposed to the victim having to give valid evidence supporting their claims coercion or threat.
Lawmakers are hoping that this proposal will be given the go-ahead in the French legal system, and help decrease sexual violence throughout the country.