Me Too Incest hashtags takes off in France
An affair that started in the French press has spawned the hashtag #Metooinceste to highlight the unspoken scandal of incest in society this weekend. The affair of high profile French political scientist Olivier Duhamel, has been making headlines recently as he stands accused of sexually abusing his stepson. The criminal proceedings that have been underway have since inspired users of social media to add an incest thread to the original Me Too movement, giving voice to a previously mute subject.
The Me Too movement was initiated originally by sexual abuse surviour Tarana Burke in 2006 on My Space. The movement regained popularity in the late 2010s, with more and more individuals online sharing their experiences of sexual abuse using the hashtag #MeToo. Many famous celebrities came out for the cause including American actresses and celebrities like Alyssa Milano, Jennifer Lawrence, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, and Uma Thurman.
The French hashtag comes following the publication of a new book ‘La Familia Grande’ by Camille Kouchne. The book reveals the accusation that Duhamel sexually abused his stepson, Kouchne’s brother, when he was 14 years old and under Duhamel’s care.
Those taking to social media to share their testimonies have been sharing heart-rendering stories in their hundreds. Many describe the deafening silence around the subject and the unspoken taboo around talking about it as why they have not spoken out before. With abuse beginning at very young ages and continuing until late teenage years, these stories give us a bleak picture as to the life of a young child suffering sexual abuse.
Incest is described in French law as a sexual relationship in which marriage is prohibited due to a proximity in family relations between two people. In France, this includes stepson and stepdaughters with associated stepmothers and stepfathers. French law incriminates any sexual act between an adult and a minor of step relations.