The Incest Commission recommends suspending visitation rights at first suspicion

The Independent Commission on Incest and Sexual Violence Against Children (Ciivise), created by Emmanuel Macron in January, issued its first opinion, after collecting hundreds of testimonies from victims. It recommends in particular the suspension of the right of visit from the first suspicion of incest.

These recommendations stem from an observation by members of the Commission, who explained that they had received several testimonies from mothers who denounced to the authorities sexual violence by their spouses on their children, who were subsequently “suspected of manipulating their child for harm their spouse ”and who were sentenced“ for non-representation of a child ”or“ withdraw custody in favor of their father ”, while the latter sought to protect their children.

Faced with this observation, the Ciivise made three recommendations in his opinion : suspension of visitation and accommodation rights as well as that of the exercise of parental authority of a parent prosecuted for rape or incestuous sexual assault against his child; the suspension of criminal proceedings for non-representation of children against one parent when an investigation is underway against the other parent for incestuous sexual violence; the inclusion in law of the systematic withdrawal of parental authority in the event of a conviction of a parent for incestuous sexual violence against his child.

Parental alienation syndrome

“The systematic suspicion of professionals towards mothers who denounce sexual violence committed against their child is a major obstacle to the identification and protection of child victims of sexual violence”, notes the Commission, which estimates that, each year, 22,000 children are victims of incest by their father, and in comparison, in 2020, “only 1,697 people were prosecuted for incestuous rape of a minor or for sexual assault on a minor, regardless of the family relationship with the victim.”

The Ciivise therefore calls on “all professionals to outlaw the use of pseudo parental alienation syndrome, especially in the judicial decision process”. This concept of “parental alienation” appeared in the 1980s to express the idea according to which, during a conflictual separation, the parent who lives with the child (the mother, most often), tries to “wash away the child’s brain ”so that he refuses to see the other parent (the father, in the majority of cases).

On September 21, the Ciivise launched a telephone platform to collect testimonies from victims and their families, in order to propose measures that best correspond to the concerns and expectations of incest victims. The Commission therefore plans to present the various lessons learned from the analysis of these testimonies at a conference on November 17.

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