child victims of sexual abuse testify on Twitter

After #Metoo and #Balancetonporc, speech is free again on social networks. With #Iwas, testimonials are posted on Twitter to condemn sexual violence against minors, sometimes as young as 3 years old, usually attacked by a family member or their immediate circle.

“#Iwas 12. There were four of them, all comrades. I asked for help, but no one came. My father didn’t want to know.” It’s a girl thing “and my mom insulted me and said” every boy wants to discover a girl’s body “. I sometimes think it’s my fault”. This testimony is from “Léou”, who presents himself on Twitter as “young novelist”, young writer and student in letters.

His message, published on the social network, is one of the tens of thousands of others published in recent days under the common denominator: #Iwas (I had or I was). According to Keyhole, the hashtag has appeared in more than 200,000 posts in the last 30 days. Often followed by an age, the keyword launched in the United States arrived in France – and especially in Corsica where the testimonies have been multiplied. It lists stories of rape, sexual abuse or harassment, suffered by girls and boys, when they were most minors.

Social networks, places of freedom of expression

Since the Weinstein affair, social networking has become a place of freedom of expression for victims of sexual violence. The #Iwas phenomenon is similar to the wave with #MeToo and #BalanceTonPorc. More recently, #JesuisUneVictime appeared in response to César for Best Director received by Roman Polanski, charged with rape in the United States and France. Or #UberCestOver, used by Uber passengers who said they were attacked by drivers during their trip.

What distinguishes this # I washed is the youth of the alleged victims at the events. The ages and violence of the reported facts make your head spin: “# Iwas4 when it started, 14 when it ended,” tweets one; “# Iwas11 was my father,” tweeted another. “# Iwas7, when I tried to talk about it around me, I was called a whore,” a third post. Thousands can quote from this order.

Guilt, innocence, shame, difficulty speak often in testimony from young victims. The anonymity provided by social networks allows some to indulge for the first time. @ Histoirede20témigne “for the first time in public despite being anonymous” (sic). “# Iwas10,” he writes, before recounting repeated rapes from his big brother who forced him into sodomy. “He would come to my room in the evening so I could touch his penis and kiss him on it,” he continues. “I was ten years old, I was naive,” I feel obliged to motivate the boy.

“It was my father and it was just sodomy”

Others, like Stella Pasquini, testify openly. In one thread, this young woman recounts the rapes her father spent when she was between 4 and 10 years old. “It was my own father and just sodomy. He told me it was normal and that all fathers did it to their daughters … I’m 4 years old … I believe in it and let me do it, I said to myself it was normal and a bad time to go. “

Stella Pasquini says she managed to talk at age 15 when her parents divorced, and then filed a complaint against her father: “The celebrities found more than 12,000 child pornography images”. A “detail that proves what he did to me is true” specifies the young woman, no doubt fearing that her testimony will not be called into question. In a rape trial, word for word is often difficult to prove, even though the child is now being heard, recorded and filmed to avoid repeating the traumatic story.

“The case lasted for 5 years,” said the young woman, who said she had to confront her father who was eventually sentenced in the second instance to ten years in prison. “On July 3, 2019, it was the end of the trial, the last time I will surely see him … The judge asks him if he wants to say something […]. And all he can say is, “I have an honor, I have no regrets.”

Theattackers are 94 years old% of relatives of the victim

Facts are often attributed to relatives, even relatives. Fathers often, sometimes mothers. @JGouilly tells the touch of “the one who gave birth to her”: “# Iwas 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. How can I tell the person who gave birth to me touched several times. Front and back. So I said no and ended every time. She began to say again “I am your mother, I was the one who gave birth to you and I can touch you”, testifies to this internet user.

“Unfortunately, not all mothers care,” says the International Association for Incest Drugs (AIVI). On June 5, the association lamented that “most of the testimonies [soient] cases of incest of a minor or of pedocrim by a family / friend circle. It is not a surprise to us but every new testimony breaks our hearts. “

ONE Ipsos sexual violence investigation 2019 for the association Mémoire Traumatique et victimologie reveals that children are the most important victims of sexual violence: 81% of the assaults begin before the victim’s 18 years and before the age of 11 for one of two victims. In 94% of cases, the aggressor is a relative; half the time it is part of the victim’s family.

Ahead of the flow of tweets, State Secretary for Gender Equality, Marlène Schiappa, on June 4, “the courage of all those who speak out against sexual violence suffered at a younger age with #iwas”. An opportunity to call that “the victims of rape now have thirty years after their majority to file a complaint”. In August 2018, the government extended the prescription period for the rape of minors from 20 to 30 years. An insufficient development for the compounds which claim that they cannot be described.