“Take care of the attackers to better protect the children”

How can we better prevent sexual violence against children? On March 31, the Ciivise – independent Commission on incest and sexual violence against children – issued 20 recommendations to protect also children who are victims of sexual violence or rape: revoke parental authority to fathers or mothers guilty of sexual violence, allocating more resources in the justice and medical sectors. According to professionals, it is also necessary to take the problem at the source according to the professionals: by taking an interest in the attackers and supporting them psychologically. In Picardy, the Criavs (Resource Center for Workers Who Work with Sexual Violence) brings together physicians, psychologists and nurses specializing in sexual violence. He is hospitalized in the Pinel psychiatric hospital, in the south of Amiens.

A number to accompany people who are attracted to children

It starts from the existence of a telephone number: the Stop system, which can be reached free of charge at the address 0 826 23 10 63. Four Criavs professionals can answer: “The callers are suffering a lot. They haven’t acted but they may have some fantasies about it. When they call us, they know they will not be judgedexplains Carole Gaffuri-Legent, a sexologist. It also allows them to have an ear because these people sometimes have no one to talk to. And unfortunately they are found once the deed has been committed“.

It is important to call, it helps to avoid acting

The goal is listen, reassure those who have the courage to call and also to estimate the risk of sexually abusing a child, especially if they are around. “If we have the impression that there has already been an act or that there is an immediate danger, we warn the person that we can make a report. It is important because it allows us to avoid taking action: it is the prevention of sexual violence against children “, details Criavs doctor. The telephone assistance then passes through a final step, explains Carole Gaffuri-Legent: “Depending on the person’s experience and their history, we can direct them to a therapist who will take care of them.“.

In Picardy, the beginnings of the Stop device are in its infancy. Since the beginning of November, four calls have been received from the three departments of Picardy.

Train professionals in contact with abusers

Another excerpt from Criavs, to limit sexual violence against children: train health and education professionals in contact with perpetrators of sexual violence. And the watchword of these formations: no judgment, no stigmatization of the attackers. “The first reaction to an attack will be the rejection of the perpetrator. The goal is not to excuse them, but to try to understand how they came to act. The author should be supported. The more people train, the fewer victims there will be.“, Details Carole Gaffuri-Legent.

The goal is not to excuse the author but to try to understand his passage to the act. The more we train at this, the fewer victims there will be

The professional will be trained, at his request, in a constructive exchange with the aggressor, to learn more about his past: “Sometimes abusers are unaware of the damage they are doing because they have always lived in a violent or incestuous environment. For them it is just normal. There are some who have a depressive episode when they realize all the damage they may have done and also when it reminds them of the painful experience they may have had.“, Specifies the sexologist.

Training offers career paths to professionals, who are sometimes overwhelmed by the sexually abusive perpetrators they deal with : “You have to work on assertiveness, on anger management, on impulsiveness on matters of intimacy, on the notion of modesty, the notion of consent for example, details Heidi Leporte, a psychologist who provides these training courses. When the attackers tell each other that women like us to be violent with them, we will have to rework it with them“, He concludes.

Criavs now wants to intervene in Picardy schools, to enable teachers to better identify young victims of sexual violence; but also to teach students, in particular, consent.

Criavs contact: http: // www \ .criavs \ -picardie \ .org / o 03 22 53 47 55 or criavs-picardie@epsm-somme.fr

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