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the recommendations of the Ciivise to better protect minors

Edouard Durand and Nathalie Mathieu, co-chairs of the Independent Commission on Incest and Sexual Violence Against Children, at the National School of Magistracy, in Bordeaux, on November 19, 2021.

At the end of its first year of work, the Independent Commission on Incest and Sexual Violence against Children (Ciivise) delivers, Thursday, March 31, its intermediate conclusions with a view to improving the “culture of protection” of minors. Created on the model of the Sauvé commission on sexual abuse in the Church, the Ciivise, launched in January 2021 by Emmanuel Macron, is the political response to societal awareness of the extent of sexual violence against children, provoked by the strong impact of the publication of the book The Big Family (Threshold, 2021), by Camille Kouchner.

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A political response, of course, but also an independent body, the commission is chaired by two actors in the field: the magistrate Edouard Durand, former juvenile judge, and Nathalie Mathieu, the general manager of the Doctors Bru Association and its reception structure. girls who are victims of incest, located in Agen.

Aware of the immense impact of sexual violence and incest on the lives of children and the adults they will become, the commission makes twenty recommendations, which range from measures in favor of prevention, with the organization of a national campaign accessible to all – the last one took place in 2002 – to improve legal and medical care for victims. “Some call for changes of a legislative nature. Others relate more to more protective professional practices. All are realistic, achievable and ambitious”insists, with the World, its co-president Edouard Durand.

Recounted in their 80-page document, a few figures underline both the extent of the phenomenon and the challenges it poses: one in ten French people suffered sexual violence during their childhood and, in the event of revelation by a child of facts of incest, a confidant did nothing in four out of ten cases.

Organize systematic identification

This is the first axis defended by the 26 members of the commission, whose mission is to dissect the mechanisms of this sexual violence starting from the experience of the victims, the hearing of experts and professionals, in order to develop public policy recommendations. “We know that there are 160,000 children each year who are victims, we must go and find them”, summarizes Edouard Durand. And this, in all the spaces where they evolve, whether school, leisure centres, sports and musical activities… This requirement for systematic identification involves the training of all adults working in contact with minors.

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