They don’t have the identical historical past, not the identical place in society, not the identical temperament. Brigitte Macron has been the First Woman for 3 years. An odd job on the Élysée, which she performs with a eager sense of accountability and the will to be helpful, and a dedication as fixed as it’s discreet to essentially the most weak. Andréa Bescond is a gifted artist, humorous and money, combative. Dancer, actress and director, she informed of her childhood devastated by a pedophile within the theater and within the cinema in “Les Chatouilles” (movie launched in 2018). As we speak, she is publishing a sequence of three books for youngsters (“What if we speak to one another?”, Ed. Harper Collins, in bookstores September 16) to assist them know their rights, to call the components of their our bodies. and to higher defend themselves in opposition to totally different types of violence (see field p. 80). It’s to assist his initiative and break this damaging taboo that Brigitte Macron, regardless of being solicited from all sides, has agreed to step out of her typical reserve. The story of those two genuine ladies is that of a friendship solid round a typical conviction: to higher assist youngsters and youngsters, we should act upstream. And, as this won’t occur with out the mobilization of the entire of society, it’s time to make a distinction. High-quality connoisseurs of this scorching subject, Brigitte Macron and Andréa Bescond recognize and speak to one another, and know that true friendship doesn’t consist in essentially agreeing on all the things. This distinctive interview befell throughout a lunch on the Élysée in late August. The dialogue was energetic and spontaneous, benevolent and at instances poignant. A uncommon freedom of speech, which we’ve chosen to transcribe as it’s. Dialogue subsequently damaged sticks, interspersed with confidences of two moms viscerally involved about the suitable to childhood for all.
SHE. Why did you write these youngsters's books?
ANDRÉA BESCOND. I did this as a mom, citizen and lady who suffered from childhood sexual violence. I dream of a society by which I can’t be afraid for my youngsters or for everybody else. The intention of the books is to assist youngsters generate a dialogue with adults, whereas giving them concrete information about their rights, their our bodies, their privateness… An knowledgeable youngster is healthier protected. Everybody ought to know that violence, in all its varieties, isn’t regular.
SHE. Brigitte Macron, you’re in nice demand, for what causes have you ever chosen to publicly assist this initiative?
BRIGITTE MACRON. To start with, as a result of assembly Andréa doesn’t go away you detached! Her trigger I embraced instantly. I needed to know, perceive, assist. I’m not Candide within the land of El Dorado, I knew this violence existed, however at this level, I didn’t think about it. Life had spared me. I began listening to testimonies about this violence as quickly as Emmanuel entered politics. Up to now three years, a couple of in two letters I’ve acquired on the Élysée have come from a baby, adolescent or dad and mom who report bodily, psychological and sexual violence to me. This summer season it was nearly 100%. When folks ask for the president's spouse, they've tried all the things earlier than. I’ve a greater than acute consciousness of the intense vulnerability of childhood, and I imagine that we should act upstream to guard it. That’s the purpose of Andrea’s nice books, which I’m positive may help save youngsters. A bit of one ought to know his rights. He should know that his privateness should be preserved. To do that, you need to begin by with the ability to identify issues.
SHE. To sort out this disturbing topic head-on, you want a sure braveness… From what conviction or from what private necessity does this dedication come?
B.M. It isn’t I who’ve the braveness, however those that dare to talk up! Since victims have the braveness to talk up, we should uphold their phrase.
A.B. Once I was 9, I used to be the sufferer of a pedophile. The trauma that follows is the story of my life. I'm not the one one, there are a whole lot of us. Like me, different victims testify and associations are shifting, alerting, shaking the coconut palm … But there are nonetheless as many youngster victims. Each morning, I consider the 165,000 youngsters raped every year, and I do know that a youngster dies each 4 days in France by the hands of his dad and mom. My internal fireplace, that's it. So long as I'm alive I'll battle to make that change.
B.M. I accompany Emmanuel to the Élysée for 5 years with the will to be helpful as a motivation. My aim is to be the voice of those that can’t be heard. Essentially the most lovely factor you are able to do on this world is to be with youngsters. I’ve this want anchored to the physique, it’s a very intimate conviction. However I by no means imagined how a lot they wanted us.
SHE. Why ?
B.M. I've informed you in regards to the couriers, however I'm not making a visit, even on a totally totally different subject, with out this problem coming to me in a method or one other. Not one! Final summer season, in Bormes-les-Mimosas, a younger man of 17 or 18 got here to see me on the street: "Madam, I’m attempting to rebuild myself." His mom explains to me that he has been harassed for 4 years, and that he has tried suicide. Testimonials like this occur nearly every single day. There may be an unprecedented charge of violence, and with the Web it by no means stops, it's across the clock.
SHE. Your books, Andréa, are written for youngsters. Is it not moderately the dad and mom who must be sensitized?
A.B. That is true, as a result of a baby isn’t accountable for violence, by no means! It’s as much as adults to be accountable for their actions, and to know the regulation. If I invite all adults to learn these books with a baby, it’s as a result of within the course of they are going to be empowered. I don't need to mess up, you already know. I don't need somebody in ten years to return and inform me: "I learn certainly one of your books after I was little, however after I appeared for an grownup to speak to about what occurred to me, not a single one helped me. ” It has to alter.
B.M. Clearly, additionally it is needed to handle adults! Mother and father are generally very poor. Not too long ago, there was a 13-year-old woman who purchased herself a bra, took an image of herself and despatched it to a pal. The following day, the picture was posted in his classroom, crossed out with the phrase “bitch”. The beginning of hell on social media. The younger woman now not needed to go to high school, needed to die a number of instances … A guardian doesn’t essentially consider warning in regards to the penalties of such acts. One can’t think about the diploma of violence of “revenge porn” or “ficha” accounts on the networks… It was Adrien Taquet (Secretary of State for Kids and Households, editor's observe) who alerted me on the resurgence of those practices, I referred to as the overall supervisor of Fb France to speak about it… There ought to nearly be a consumer handbook, a information to assist dad and mom right now, overwhelmed by all this. In my technology, we discovered "I'm elevating my youngster" by Laurence Pernoud, in all maternity wards, it was treasured!
SHE. You’re very totally different, and occupy a distinct place in society, how was your friendship born?
B.M. With Andréa, it was quick! I mentioned to myself: “This woman dares all the things, she's going! A mutual pal, Stéphanie Bataille, the director of the Antoine Theater in Paris, launched us to when Emmanuel was within the countryside. We had lunch collectively. I discovered it wonderful. I needed to know all the things, she needed to clarify all the things to me. In a short time, we noticed one another once more.
A.B. I used to be stunned, as a result of it was a number of months earlier than the presidential election and Brigitte gave me her quantity right away. I felt that perhaps we had one thing to perform collectively, however I believed it was somebody who would undoubtedly fall into one other world. On the evening of Emmanuel Macron’s election, I despatched him a well mannered message: “Congratulations, good job, good luck!”, With out imagining a solution for 2 seconds. A minute later, I acquired a textual content: "Andrea, I’ll all the time be by your facet in your battle." I used to be like, "Wow, that is robust! She is sweet, this lady! "
B.M. One night, within the fall of 2017, with Nicole Belloubet and Marlène Schiappa, we got here to the theater to see your play "Les Chatouilles". On the finish, you requested the viewers, "Can victims of kid crime increase their arms?" We noticed one particular person arise timidly, then two, then three, and at last half of the room. It was startling. This battle should change into extra seen. The extra we speak about it, the extra it strikes issues. It ought to be a part of that of ladies, there are such a lot of widespread topics! The phrases of small victims, for instance, must be carried out systematically in a safe place, unexpectedly, to forestall them from reliving this tragedy over and over. This consideration of phrases is simply as essential for ladies victims of violence. After which home violence can also be violence in opposition to youngsters. Many ladies who’ve put up with their associate's violence for a really very long time determine to file a grievance the day they contact one of many youngsters …
A.B. Sure, it should be mentioned: witnessing violence, whether or not bodily, psychological, verbal or sexual, pulverizes a baby. When confronted with dad and mom who’re always arguing, a baby can’t be effectively. The identical goes for visible violence. To come back throughout pornography is a trauma for a kid. Ladies or boys, they don’t have the psychic means to defend themselves in opposition to it. It is usually a message of sexual submission, of non-consent that can have penalties later … Within the face of all this violence, remaining passive is a approach of being complicit. We’re scandalized by the complacency of adults within the Matzneff affair, we’re speaking a few sure period … But the legal guidelines already existed. We will subsequently see that the topic is the accountability and vigilance of all adults in a society.
SHE. You’re each moms, how did you strategy this troublesome topic together with your youngsters with out panicking them?
B.M. I’m from a technology the place it was talked about little or no. It was difficult as a result of neither my son nor my daughters needed to listen to about it. As quickly as I broached the issue, they might say, “We all know! After which, I used to be with them on a regular basis, I by no means took off from them.
A.B. With mine, I attempted to strategy issues like in my little books, as merely as potential. Household secrets and techniques are poisonous, your youngster will all the time really feel that you’re hiding one thing, that you’ve got a knot in you. They seize all the things, they’re sponges. I informed them about their our bodies, their rights… But in addition about my childhood. I informed them, “Once I was little I had a secret that made me depressing for a really very long time. It turned the present "Les Chatouilles". Odette's story is mine. "
B.M. Have they seen him?
A.B. Sure. Within the theater, aged 6 and seven. Sitting firmly on dad's knees, they noticed mum dancing on stage, then mum applauded. They felt the emotional cost as a result of, ultimately, lots of people have been crying, coming to say thanks. From the age of 6, my son informed me: "Mother, it's loopy how folks love you whenever you're Odette!" "
SHE. As we speak they’re eight and 9 years previous …
A.B. Sure. And so they know that if one thing ever occurs, we are going to imagine them and act to get them out of a problematic scenario. Having the ability to rely on trusted adults is without doubt one of the keys. And it’s difficult. As a result of you may't speak to mother or dad if certainly one of them beats or rapes, and the opposite is complicit, passive, or beneath management. Each grownup ought to have the civic will to be related and attentive to the indicators despatched by a struggling youngster.
SHE. Acknowledge that it isn’t all the time simple …
A.B. No, however after we hear an exhausted grownup say to his youngster: "Shut up, in any other case you’ll take one" or "You appeared for it, your slap, you discovered it", we will now not stay silent. . When a member of the family or a pal “abandons” their child after a troublesome separation, dropping their custody rights, even quickly, you need to say no, remind them of their accountability… I do it, even when it means trying like a ache within the ass. All of us need to get began, bizarre residents like me and establishments. Nobody must be taken for a sucker who provides classes!
B.M. Generally it's awkward … I’ve seen a mom slap her son fairly onerous on the street. I went to see her. I used to be very shocked, earlier than realizing that her little boy had nearly been run over. The mom was afraid …
A.B. Yeah, effectively, she acquired scared. Does that excuse him?
B.M. In fact not. However this reflex doesn't essentially make her a foul mom … You may't make dad and mom really feel responsible on a regular basis both. Most assume they’re doing effectively. All dad and mom have made and can make errors. It’s a must to clarify to them what abuse is. Many nonetheless assume that a good spanking is an academic technique. I’m for serving to dad and mom moderately than making them really feel responsible.
A.B. They may also be reminded that that is now prohibited by regulation.
SHE. Encouraging youngsters to talk up can also be giving them an awesome accountability … and risking making them really feel responsible in the event that they don't, proper?
A.B. In fact. First, we’ve to forestall the tragedy from taking place. Then you need to be very cautious. Some prevention campaigns proclaimed: "Your physique is your physique, you’ve gotten the suitable to say no." It was actually responsible for the youngsters. When confronted with a sufferer who sooner or later manages to say "I used to be raped", the primary response is: "However why didn't you inform me? Why didn't you say no? "That is one thing that I informed in my movie:" However, wait, I'm telling you one thing that has utterly screwed up my life, may you not first obtain this phrase? ? We nonetheless imagine that an assaulted youngster or teen can say no. It's incorrect. He’s flabbergasted.
B.M. For a kid, speaking is all the time very difficult. I went to take heed to those that name 119. It’s a must to see the distinction between what they are saying in the beginning of the decision and what you perceive on the finish! Listening helps to free speech. One afternoon, a baby calls: he simply says he’s hungry. That was the start line. The listener took a very long time to get him to say that each weekend he attended his dad and mom' intercourse video games with neighbors, and that he was not being fed. He began speaking within the thirty-fifth minute … We have now been very supportive of 119, with Martine Brousse, of the affiliation La Voix de l'enfant. I encourage all youngsters and anybody who witnesses violence to name this free quantity.
A.B. It's good that the youngsters begin speaking. However after we see the shortage of felony response behind it, we will see how far we’ve to go. See the story of those three Breton youngsters, victims of unimaginable abuse, soiled, sporting bruises and beatings, ravenous, frightened, morons on medication for adults … Final November, dad and mom have been sentenced to solely three years of jail, together with two suspended sentences, on the Vannes court docket. Two suspended sentences! And solely the daddy had parental authority eliminated, not the mom!
SHE. The voice of ladies on violence is free, however that regarding youngsters remains to be taboo. Why ? Is it as a result of we’re touching right here on the primary basis of society, the household?
B.M. It's apparent. This is the reason we should additionally assist and assist households, confused dad and mom. We’ll obtain this by mobilizing all adults, over the broadest potential spectrum. Similar factor on the authorities degree: Secretary of State Adrien Taquet is set to get all of the ministries to work collectively: Justice, Inside, Nationwide Schooling, Well being … We should additionally handle predators. There may be already a toll-free quantity (1), and drug therapies that psychiatrists may give them. This might maybe, in some circumstances, forestall tragedies. We should multiply the aids earlier than they take motion, and enhance their care.
SHE. Abused youngsters could be present in all walks of life. And each abusive guardian says they love their youngster. Are you able to perceive this so troublesome factor: with a baby, love just isn’t sufficient?
A.B. No. I can’t conceive that loving a baby could be appropriate with hitting or humiliating them to make them higher educated. If we love him, we accompany him, we put ourselves at his degree to speak to him, we respect him. The issue is the idea that "that is my youngster, he’s mine." False. Nobody is owned by anybody on this planet.
B.M. This patrimonial imaginative and prescient of the kid is without doubt one of the elementary issues. That is what makes some dad and mom say, "I do what I would like, it's none of what you are promoting. "
SHE. One of many grey areas revealed by the judgments for mistreatment is violence, complicity or complacency on the a part of moms, but sacred to our society. Within the identify of blood ties, magistrates or Childhood Social Companies are all the time reluctant to chop ties with a poisonous mom … What do you assume?
A.B. Violence has no gender. That of ladies remains to be denied, it’s true. The figures communicate, violence is perpetuated extra by males, however that doesn’t imply that girls should not involved. However we will perceive social providers: utterly reducing off a baby from its dad and mom is all the time a fragile query. Particularly whether it is to put them in failing properties, the place they’ll endure additional violence and additional abandonment. Most social employees do an incredible job, but it surely occurs. I typically speak about it with Lyes Louffok (2), who himself was the sufferer of those dysfunctions. Performing earlier than arriving on the problem of placement, that will be, for instance, to have each dad and mom adopted by a shrink as quickly as there’s the slightest suspicion of mistreatment …
B.M. Maybe we may additionally broaden the mission of the kid's well being report, past medical monitoring, to the query of his household and emotional setting … By imagining necessary steps past the 2 or three first years, which might be so many alternatives to take inventory.
SHE. Reporting a baby is troublesome. We all know that the varsity is on the entrance line. Did this ever occur to you, Brigitte Macron, whenever you have been a French instructor?
B.M. Over the previous few years, I’ve seen a whole lot of harassment circumstances. A pupil with plummeting outcomes, who now not appears at you whenever you speak to him, who’s all the time drained, a instructor notices. As a head instructor, I attempted to sort out the issue head-on, straight with the harassed and with the harasser. To harass a comrade is unworthy. Once you put it down firmly from the beginning, it normally stops. If I had any doubts about different mistreatment, I clearly spoke to the principal.
A.B. Reporting as quickly as you see one thing is the idea of the citizen reflex, whether or not you’re a instructor, physician, neighbor, pal … no matter. I've by no means referred to as 119, however like I mentioned earlier than, at any time when I hear or see one thing, I strike up a dialog.
SHE. We by no means ship you out for a stroll?
A.B. No … However I'm not telling it to myself, I transfer ahead cautiously. I'm speaking in regards to the regulation, I'm saying that perhaps we have to change the best way we do issues. After which I say that I, too, have skilled violence at instances. I went via this as a mom… I do know what it’s, and I acquired adopted by a shrink for that cause.
SHE. Are you able to inform us about it?
A.B. What I went via as a baby actually screwed up. I rebuilt, I labored on myself with the assistance of a beautiful psychotherapist, after which I took refuge in creation, writing “Les Chatouilles”… However, when my daughter got here into the world, an power extraordinary violence gripped me, which clearly referred to my very own childhood. Sooner or later she was a child, 9 or 10 months previous, when she was altering her diaper she was crying, she was shifting, I used to be nervous. I made a really sharp, very energetic gesture, and he or she fell to the bottom, on a tiled flooring. I used to be terrified, our infant was not damage, however I met my husband's gaze. I couldn't describe him precisely, however he was so… sorry for me. I left my daughter to him to go and cry additional. I couldn't change into an abusive mom. I didn't need to be that particular person. I grabbed my cellphone to go speak about it in a short time and have an emergency escort. When there’s a conflict inside, you need to react, get assist. The one drawback is the worth. A approach must be discovered for that to be reimbursed, to assist faltering dad and mom.
B.M. We by no means say how poor a younger mom could be. Nonetheless, we should speak about it to make ladies really feel responsible. I’ve a exact reminiscence, at 21 years previous, simply after the beginning of my first youngster: I used to be in entrance of the maternity hospital ready for his dad to return dwelling, and I needed to show round, run take refuge within the maternity ward. I puzzled: "How am I going to do? I used to be afraid I didn't know, afraid one thing would possibly occur to him. He spent his first three weeks screaming evening and day. I went across the medical doctors, who mentioned, "This youngster has nothing, you’re passing your fears to him. "Recover from it! Sooner or later, it was found that he had a medical drawback and he underwent an operation. Being a mother for the primary time is tough and no one says it! You simply hear, "It's great. "We think about that every one the opposite moms arrive there with pleasure and elation, and we really feel responsible in immense loneliness. You may really feel overwhelmed by this accountability. Defending youngsters additionally means supporting moms extra, stopping making them really feel responsible.
SHE. You’re each in touch with many associations, akin to Cease Sexual Violence, which as soon as informed you, Brigitte, about those who exist in opposition to infants …
B.M. Sure. It’s an untenable topic. I used to be atomized. Rape of infants is one thing unimaginable. It’s past all the things. And but it exists.
SHE. Andrea, what do you assume could be essentially the most pressing steps to take?
A.B. We have now all the things to evaluation on prevention and consciousness. However we should completely achieve acquiring what Marlène Schiappa needed in the course of the vote on the 2018 regulation on violence, however which sadly didn’t move: set up a threshold of systematic non-consent as much as 15 years of age with regard to issues sexual relations with adults. And as much as 18 years of age within the occasion of incest or incapacity. That is elementary. All these circumstances should be thought-about as rapes, subsequently crimes tried in court docket, punishable by heavy penalties. And no, as is just too typically the case, certified as "sexual assault", offenses judged by the felony court docket, and punishable by lesser penalties. That is now not admissible.
SHE. How can we assist all these adults who’ve been damaged up from childhood, who fail to place one foot in entrance of the opposite, with a sequence of psychological problems, addictions and pathologies?
B.M. It is a query I needed to ask you, Andrea. Can we ever get out of it?
A.B. I have no idea. We’re all totally different, there aren’t any guidelines. I’m cautious of the injunction to resilience, others are so wanting to see us flip the web page … We’re doing what we will, on the charge we will. Generally I really feel resilient, since I could be doing effectively even after this broken childhood. However I understand how this story has utterly screwed up a big a part of my life. I really feel like I wasted a whole lot of time. To manage, a psychological follow-up or every other remedy is important. Alone, it’s too troublesome.
B.M. I hear ladies, youngsters, youngsters inform me about what they went via … In the event that they speak, it's as a result of they now not have a selection, it's both that or die. Speaking is a primary step, however then you need to discover the lever that can actually assist them get out of it … I’ve talked lots about it with Sarah Abitbol and Sébastien Boueilh (three). To this point, it's a matter of luck, good or dangerous. If ever a baby or a youngster has one or two dangerous encounters once more, it’s catastrophic.
A.B. Once you've been raped as a baby, it's prefer it's been marked "sufferer" in your brow your entire life. We have now concern reflexes that predators can establish. The psychotraumatic penalties are very huge and really diverse. I used to be very hooked on alcohol, medication, I had poisonous relationships with poisonous males, immediately I personally was poisonous … You may as well withdraw into your self, change into agoraphobic, have a physique that swells or quite the opposite shrinks on his bones… It's so onerous. That’s why I actually encourage all victims to seek the advice of. Me it saved my life.
(1) Toll-free variety of the useful resource facilities for employees working with perpetrators of sexual violence (CRIAVS): zero 806 23 10 63.
(2) Writer of "Within the Hell of the Foyers" (ed. Flammarion).
(three) Each have been victims of a pedophile. The determine skater testified in "Un si lengthy silence" (ed. Plon), and the previous rugby participant based the affiliation Colosse aux pieds d´arile to battle in opposition to pedophilia in sports activities. Sébastien Boueilh additionally wrote "The Colossus with toes of clay" (ed. Michel Lafon).
The play "Les tickouilles" resumes, with Déborah Moreau, from September 17 at La Scène libre, four, boulevard de Strasbourg, Paris 10e