40 cases reported to French parliament’s anti-harassment cell

Disclosure comes in wake of sexual violence allegations against 2 lawmakers

2022-09-23 19:33:12


At least 40 cases of sexual and gender-based violence have been reported since last year to the French parliament's anti-harassment cell, the president of the national assembly disclosed for the first time on Thursday.

Yael Braun-Pivet, told public radio FranceInfo that the cell formed in 2020 has received 24 reports in 2021 and 16 during the first half of 2022. Only one case of sexual harassment has been reported to the courts for prosecution.

"As soon as there is sexist behavior I will sanction it because it is intolerable," she said, without elaborating on the nature of sanctions.

She detailed that these cases are not only of sexual harassment but also of "moral harassment and pressure."

Braun-Pivet added that these cases may further get reported to the judiciary depending upon their serious nature.

Her statement comes in the wake of the sexual violence and misconduct scandal surrounding the French political circle. Two prominent left-wing politicians, Adrien Quatennens who recently acknowledged slapping his wife, and Green party's Julien Bayou accused of psychologically abusing a former partner, have been suspended this week.

On whether Quatennens and Bayou should resign as members of parliament, Braun-Pivet said since the court has not held them guilty yet they are not obliged to resign and can continue to exercise their political mandate. “I'm not saying 'you have to stay in the Assembly. I'm saying that there is no obligation to resign. It's a personal choice of a political leader.”

In July, former solidarity minister Damien Abad was forced to step down over rape accusations. He was increasingly attacked and under public pressure for holding a ministerial post amidst rape accusations by three women shortly after his appointment as a minister.