a meeting of the Independent Commission on Incest and Sexual Violence against Children

The Independent Commission on Incest and Sexual Abuse of Children (CIIVISE) organizes a meeting open to the public in Rouen, this Tuesday, June 14 from kl., in the art museum’s auditorium. Édouard Durand, Magistrate and Co-Chair of this Commission, answers questions from France Bleu Normandie.

Edouard Durand, what is the purpose of this meeting?

It is to open a gathering space for all people who have been subjected to sexual violence in their childhood, who can come if they want, listen to the words of others and even say their opinion if they want to. It is also a meeting place with the whole community because it is a public meeting. Every time there are also professionals, committed people, associations. It is a moment of solidarity and recognition. All people are welcome.

This is the seventh round of your commission. In the testimonies that you have gathered during previous meetings, what are the facts, the words that most often came up?

There is anger and hope in every person who testifies. In six months, we received more than 12,000 testimonies. And every time, every person says, “I testify for myself and for the children not to experience what I have experienced. “ And then we also hear the suffering during the confrontation with sexual violence, the suffering associated with the aggressors’ impunity and a great desire for change. We must listen to this word as it is given. This word is legitimate in itself.

Your work started a year ago and will continue until next year. At the end of March, the Preliminary Conclusions were published. Among them, you say that justice must be “on a par with a child” once the sexual violence has been identified. What exactly does this mean?

This means that a child who is confronted with sexual violence, and then with a criminal case, has a need for justice at the child’s level. This means that we, professionals in social work, the judiciary, lawyers, judges and others, must implement 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, that allow them to be heard without creating bias in speech. This means that a criminal case is not a wasteland where all shots are allowed. When a child, even though he has grown up 40 years after the events, enters the court hearing, he must be able to feel safe. This is justice at the height of a child.

However, the rights defender regrets, and I quote, “very brief investigations” into this type of case, sometimes far too long. What do you answer?

We agree with the rights defender we met recently.

How to go faster?

It must first be understood that when a child reveals violence, if it is not protected immediately, it loses confidence in the adult world. We need to seek out the words of child victims: this is called systematic identification. Ask all the children the question: has anyone ever hurt you? And if the child reveals violence, especially sexual violence or incest, then it must be put in safety so that it can grow up so that it can sleep so that it can learn and become the woman or man he is called. to become. That’s the first thing. And so, the second thing it means to explain to him the course of a criminal investigation, that is, to allow him to understand a schedule.

Do you think a child can understand that?

Yes of course. I have been a child judge for almost 20 years. I work with children, and therefore one must be able to speak in a way so that the child understands what is being said to him, in the words of childhood. Children are serious people, and children who have been raped or sexually abused and therefore extreme suffering need adults to explain to them what is going to happen.

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