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France To Change Age Of Consent To 15 Following Rape Uproar

France To Change Age Of Consent To 15 Following Rape Uproar

She said: "We want to fix an age in the law below which it's always forbidden to have sex with children, with young girls, below which it's always considered as a rape".

In the United Kingdom there are also additional laws stating that children under the age of 13 can never consent to sexual activity.

Under existing laws, if violence and force can't be proven, offenders may only be charged with sexual abuse of a minor and not with rape.

The uproar over two recent cases of men accused of having sex with 11-year-old girls has led to this changes being considered.

A debate over the age of sexual consent has been ongoing for several months now, with some suggesting it be lowered to 13.

Announcing the plan yesterday, the country's Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa said the government had chose to introduce a minimum age of consent at the recommendation of a panel of experts and after public consultations.

More news: Rahul joins protest for special status to Andhra

Equality Minister Marlène Schiappa has welcomed the move, which follows advice from doctors and legal experts, and she announced that the new law will be presented to Council of Ministers on March 21. Around that time a French teacher also got a suspended jail sentence rather than a prison term for sex with a 14-year-old student.

In a separate case, a 29-year-old man was originally told he should not face charges of rape because there was no evidence the 11-year-old was coerced.

In November 2017, a 30-year-old man was acquitted of rape after a court determined his 11-year-old victim had not been subjected to "constraint, threat, violence or surprise".

The issue was brought to the fore after critics and lawmakers said French laws had allowed two men to escape rape charges when they were accused of sex with underage girls. President Emmanuel Macron also supports the limit.

After that case made headlines children's rights group Le Voix de l'Enfant said in a statement: "The question of consent or its absence should never even be asked when it comes to rape victims who are minors".

Lawmakers hope this proposal, which is part of a bill aimed at reducing sexual violence in the country, will be implemented in the coming weeks.


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