France: Government Debates Changes to Rape Laws to Protect Child Victims
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 4:25 PM

After two men were acquitted of rape in recent cases involving eleven-year old girls, the French government has said it will consider amending the country’s rape laws. Currently, the age of consent in France is fifteen, but there is no age below which when sex is presumed to be non-consensual. Thus, in the absence of evidence of force, violence or coercion, French prosecutors may not be able to prove a child victim was raped because they cannot prove she did not consent to sex. For this reason, perpetrators are often charged with the lesser offense of sexual abuse of a minor, which carries lighter penalties than rape. According to the BBC, the French government is currently debating a proposed law that would establish a “defined age for irrefutable non-consent.”

Compiled from: France to Release Child Sex Laws after Controversial Cases, BBC News (November 13, 2017).