PARIS (AP) — France’s government on Wednesday presented a bill to fight sexual and gender-based violence, in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Junior minister for gender equality Marlene Schiappa said at a news conference the measure will impose fines for gender-based harassment on the street or in public transport of between 90 and 750 euros ($110-920).
Schiappa said she is convinced the measure “will act as a deterrent because never before have we heard so much talk about street harassment.”
Witnesses to such acts will know the French Republic’s law is on the side of women, she stressed.
Most Read Nation & World Stories
- Historians privately warn Biden that America's democracy is teetering
- WSU police chief, 2 others retire after internal investigation
- Naturalist who was authority on eastern timber rattlesnakes dies of snakebite at 80
- Sports on TV & radio: Local listings for Seattle games and events
“Many police officers tell us they think the measure can apply, as soon as there’s training”, she said.
The proposed law also includes a provision that anyone under 15 cannot consent to sex with an adult.
The bill extends the statute of limitations on sex crimes, allowing prosecution for 30 years after a purported victim turns 18, rather than the current 20.
The measure aims at allowing victims to file a lawsuit for sexual abuses in childhood that they only remember as adults.
Schiappa stressed that it is “not always easy to go launch the justice process for rapes experienced in childhood, especially incestuous rapes. Victims need, once adults, to be sufficiently prepared psychologically and also sometimes financially to face a legal process and a trial.”
The measure is in part inspired by the efforts of French TV host Flavie Flament, who last year accused photographer David Hamilton of raping her when she was 13. Flament could not file a lawsuit because the statute of limitations had expired in her case.
Schiappa said the bill would also step up sanctions against cyberstalking, especially when committed in a group.
The text will be debated in Parliament by summer.