Hundreds of protesters in Paris in support of an alleged rape victim

That it be considered rape and not sexual abuse: that was the request of more than 300 protesters shouting “justice for Julie” this Sunday in Place Saint-Michel in Paris.

Under the pseudonym Julie, the victim claims to have been raped by 3 firefighters when she was only 14 years old. Julie required more than 130 interventions from firefighters between 2008 and 2010, when she was under the influence of heavy medical treatment. In France, the fire brigade provides first aid.

The woman maintains that during her youth she had sexual relations with around 20 firefighters, but that it was in 2009 when she assured that she was raped one night by her then boyfriend, who was with two other colleagues. Most of the young men with whom he had sexual encounters were in their 20s and belonged to the Bourg-la-Reine barracks, in the Hauts-de-Seine department, west of Paris.

In July 2019, the jury considered the case as sexual abuse, but the radical feminist collective FEMEN manifested this Sunday to aggravate the sentence and reclassify the crime as rape.

Sofia Antoine, spokesperson for FEMEN, denounces that “the victims are not listened to.” “There must be a review of the charges, a review of the penalties. The police, psychiatric experts and the entire judiciary must listen to people who dare to speak and who denounce the unspeakable,” defends Antoine.

Emu, Julie’s father, appreciates the social support that his daughter’s case is receiving and explains that the demonstrations “are reaching their hearts directly, taking into account that the complaint was filed 10 years ago.” “It is evident that things have changed in society, and even if certain judges are reluctant to this social evolution, today the voice of the victims is heard more,” concludes the young woman’s father.

Cécile, a protester in favor of Julie, rejects the possibility of sexual abuse: “I don’t understand that you can talk about the consent of a 14-year-old teenager.”

Demonstrations have also been held in other regions of France, such as at the doors of the Versailles Court, where the feminist collective Noustoutes, which translates to ‘All of Us’ in Spanish, has met. In Strasbourg, in front of the judicial court, the multitude has manifested itself to the cry of “rapists everywhere, justice nowhere”, “the victim is Julie” or “Julie, we believe you”.

On November 12, the Versailles Court of Appeal rejected the young woman’s claim in which she requested that the crime be considered rape. His case will finally be examined this Wednesday by the Court of Cassation, the highest court of justice in France.