Sexist insults will now be more harshly punished

MEPs voted to make the offense of aggravated sexist contempt a criminal offence, with a fine rising from 1,500 to 3,750 euros.

POLITICS – The Assembly voted Wednesday, November 16 in favor of tougher repression sexist insults and the possibility of filing complaints by videoconference for certain offences, during the examination of the orientation and programming law of the interior ministry.

During a session that ended shortly before midnight in a tense atmosphere after exchanges of invective, the deputies adopted by a large majority (170 votes for, 28 against) an article reinforcing the repression of the offense of sexist insult ” worsen “. The voted article aims to make it a crime, with a fine that would increase from 1,500 euros currently to 3,750 euros.

The sexist outrage, introduced recently to deal in particular with the “street harassment”means the act of imposing on a person “a statement or behavior with a sexual or sexist connotation”undermining his dignity or creating a situation “intimidating, hostile or offensive”. He is considered as ” worsen “ in certain cases, for example when it is committed by a person abusing his authority, on a vulnerable person or even in public transport.

Identical amendments from the oppositions were adopted, with the backing of the government, to extend the aggravated sexist contempt to all minors, and no longer just to those under 15 years old. Others, who demanded that sexist outrages not be subject to“delictual lump sum fines” lower amounts, were rejected.

The LFI group voted against the measure, deploring only one method “repressive” and believing that it was necessary “address the cause and not the consequence” of these outrages.

Filing of complaints by videoconference

Earlier in the day, the Assembly voted largely in favor of a possible filing of a complaint by videoconference for certain offenses, by 155 votes against 2. In the hemicycle, the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin had praised Tuesday the ‘one of the “digital revolutions” of the department, when some victims have to “take half a day off” to file a complaint today. The criminal offenses concerned must be specified by a decree of the Council of State.

With the endorsement of the presidential camp, the deputies adopted an amendment by the socialist Cécile Untermaier mentioning that the victim can refuse the videoconference, if she prefers a procedure in “face-to-face”. Videoconferencing is not intended to “reduce the public service”underlined Renaissance MP Caroline Abadie, recalling the “8,500 recruitments” of gendarmes and police officers promised by law during the five-year term.

MEPs adopted a socialist proposal so that a victim of a criminal offense can “ask to file a complaint and be heard” within “his home, a specialized victim support association or any other place”.

An amendment by Marie Pochon (EELV), providing for a possible experimentation for five years “brigades of gendarmes and mobile police” for “receive complaints from victims of domestic violence in rural areas, in areas determined by decree”was also adopted against the opinion of the rapporteur.

Consideration of the text is due to continue on Thursday.

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Sexist insults will now be more harshly punished

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