Child sex abuse: Is there a right age of consent?


Is there a right age of consent? A bill introduced in the French parliament would set the minimum age at 15 for consensual sex with an adult. The law here bans sex with a minor, but that carries a much lighter sentence than in Anglo-Saxon countries where it's automatically considered statutory rape. Why not here? Child sex abuse is an abuse of power, mighty adults imposing their will on minors. The issue's been brought to a head in France by some recent high-profile cases.


These include the charges levelled in the book "La Familia Grande", a best-selling account of the cover-up surrounding the rape of Camille Kouchner's brother by prominent political scientist Olivier Duhamel. On that score, what to do when the facts happened long ago and there is no material evidence?

The tide seems to be turning in a nation that for instance – in the name of separating the artist from the person – long defended film director Roman Polanski, who fled the US rather than face charges over sex with a 13-year-old girl. Why does the pendulum now seem to be swinging here in favour of those who break the silence?  

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Imen Mellaz.

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