report. Collect the testimonies of a free speech on incest

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Incest, a subject that is coming to light at the start of 2021 with Camille Kouchner’s book, “La Familia grande”, and with the #metooinceste movement. Illustration (JERRY CHEN / GETTY IMAGES)

The hashtag #MeTooIncest paved the way for many testimonials on social networks. The associations which work in silence, often indifferent for years, have found a media space to recall the figures of a Ipsos study /Facing incest published last November: 6.7 million people in France are victims of an incestuous crime.

There remains the weight of guilt in denouncing his father, his uncle, his grandfather, a weight which the executioners abuse, taking advantage of the immaturity of children. And later, in the victims, the tear is marked. On the one hand, the desire to end suffering, to protect oneself, and on the other, not to see one’s parent thrown in prison by an act of denunciation; the fear of shame, the fear of seeing the family unit disintegrate by the accusations made.

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In a striking report, the franceinfo reporter, Sandrine Etoa, delivers a series of testimonies on this psychological pressure: the fallacious importance of secrecy, the confusion around feeling, the blurring of benchmarks.

And when the word is freed, it first takes refuge in privacy, very often a loved one, or an association. But whether it is the premises of an association, a police station, a legal office, the words remain confined within four walls, and are sometimes transcribed on a sheet of paper or a document. Word.

Accepting to speak into the reporter’s microphone is the awareness of being heard in the public space. The journalist will broadcast the word. As Sophie Parmentier, a journalist from France Inter, who collected Maud’s testimony this week, explains, we must first listen.

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Questions should not be intrusive in the story.

Sophie Parmentier, reporter at Radio France

And then there is the editing. The fact that in a morning radio, the words heard can shock the listener who is not warned and who listens to a flow of information. If the details of the assaults are not requested by the reporter, the victim may feel the need to name them. Should it be broadcast?

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Going through the crude terms is not essential to understand what the child went through. But situations can enlighten. In Maud’s case, “his grandfather bought his silence with money“, at Juliette’s, her father spoke to her “overflowing love”. The way to buy or negotiate silence must be said to inform. Thus described, these situations can be recognized by other victims locked in silence.

In the editing, the other responsibility of the journalist – and this applies to all subjects – is not to betray the words collected, nor to water down it. The victim who took a long time to testify should not regret it for a montage that would not be faithful to the comments made. For this reason, the bond between transmitter and receiver / broadcaster must remain strong even after registration.

Sometimes the victim needs to list details, to tell them, if only for themselves, but then, they also may not want the said details to be released. The conversation must then continue between the journalist and the victim of the incest.

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And above all, the priority of disseminating such testimonies is to encourage people who are silent no longer to be silent. It is also all the strength of hashtag : #MeTooIncest

Children and adolescents victims of violence, as well as witnesses of such acts, can contact 119, a national telephone number, free and anonymous. This listening and advice platform is open 24 hours a day, every day. Other information is also available on the site Allo119.gouv.fr.



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