Breaking the silence on incest: How France is facing up to the unspeakable


France is reeling from claims and revelations of incest. It began with a book by the sister of an alleged victim – her own twin brother – abused sexually throughout his teens by his stepfather, political scientist Olivier Duhamel. Camille Kouchner's book "La familia grande" has blown the lid off a massive social problem. What happened to her brother is classified as incest in France. In other countries it would be called child sex abuse – all the more damaging because it is perpetrated by a person in loco parentis.


There has been a huge reaction, with other people coming forward to state that they too have been sexually abused. One in ten people in France have experienced some degree of sexual abuse within their family set-up. The group Face à l'Inceste (Facing Up To Incest) says its research also revealed that most often the victim is a girl, most often an uncle is the abuser. A French hashtag #MeTooInceste was quickly coined and people started sharing their own personal shocking stories on social media.

Our guests share their knowledge about this issue and possible solutions.

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Léopoldine Iribarren. 

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning