In Corsica, the # IWas movement calls for “end of victim sacrifice” for sexual abuse

The Movement to Condemn Sexual Violence #IWas has taken on a certain scale in Corsica in recent weeks, with dozens of testimonies on social networks, although it has so far led to few complaints.

The “Silence Act” regarding sexual violence in Corsica disappears while the # IWasCorsica movement is gaining momentum. On Sunday, July 5, several hundred people marched through the streets of Ajaccio to condemn the sexual abuse of women. During the movement’s talks, the protesters, mainly young women, gathered the prefecture from the court and held up signs “Take our complaints”, “Fear changes sides”, “End of omerta for victims”. By June 21, some 300 people had already demonstrated with the same slogan in Bastia.

Since the beginning of June, testimonials have been pouring into the page #IWasCorsica, a variant of the hashtag #IWas (“I had” or “I was old”), born in the United States during the same period. , age monitoring, allows victims of sexual violence to share on social networks what they have experienced. Culomba Sicurani, for example, 25, was one of the first in Corsica to take it. “About #IWas 6. He was my cousin. He was 14. I woke up at night. He didn’t sleep. And asked me to help him finish what he did.” , she wrote on June 6. Now that she lives in Dublin, she explains to AFP how difficult it is to tell these dramas: “In Corsica it is small, we all know each other. We dare not speak because the rapist is friend, cousin.”

“Omerta is not a myth on the island”

“On the island comes silence from shame and fear of reprisal. We do not inform our parents of the fear that our father will go and kill the author,” Laetitia Maroccu, president of the association made and Surelle, and responsible in Ajaccio for the equality delegation.

“Omerta is not a myth on the island” about these issues of sexual violence “committed in most cases by relatives,” confirms a police officer who has long been aware of these acts. Without trial, the victims are not recognized as such.

The movement was supported in particular by the mayor of Ajaccio Laurent Marcangeli, present in the Sunday process, but also by the city councils of Bastia and Bonifacio, and Marlène Schiappa, state secretary for equality between women and men under the Philippe government.

The prefect of Ajaccio, who received a delegation, “gave us his email and his mobile number so we can send him the complaints that are problematic,” Laetitia Maroccu and Anaïs Mattei told AFP. one of the organizers of the event and regret too many failed classifications. The 22-year-old young woman claims to have collected “testimony from 15 people who are ready to file a complaint” that must go together on Tuesday to the Bastia police station.

Rare victim complaints

At the moment, only one “complaint was filed for a rape that would have been committed last summer in Haute-Corse,” the AFP’s prosecutor in Bastia, Caroline Tharot, announced. If complaints from victims remain rare, “48 complaints have been filed in Haute-Corse following the publication of dozens of names of potential sexual offenses or rapists,” shared by private messages on social networks, prosecutors said. A 49th complaint was also filed in southern Corsica.

On Saturday, an operation of collage of messages in the Corsican language and French was carried out on the streets of Paris in support of the victims of sexual violence on the island. You could especially read “mai piu zitte” (“never more silent”), in Corsica), “un si micca sola” (“you’re not alone”) or, in French, “Corse: île des justes, pas des rapeurs “.

With AFP