Public sexual harassment can cost you €750 in France as legislation underway

02:10 PM | 22 Mar, 2018
Public sexual harassment can cost you €750 in France as legislation underway
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PARIS - In a bid to curtail sexual violence, France has unveiled plans to impose fines up to €750 on-the-spot on offenders caught sexually harassing people in public.

 

The French government has announced the measures in a bill, which still needs to be approved by parliament. Under the legislation, the deadline for lodging complaint in the rape case will also be extended.

President Emmanuel Macron has said the bill aims at ensuring “women are not afraid to be outside”, after an online campaign against sexual assault in the public got momentum.

An opinion poll conducted by Ifop Opinion on Wednesday suggested that the new bill is backed by 90 percent of the French public.

Gender equality minister Marlène Schiappa said on Wednesday that offenders will be slapped with fines ranging from €90-€750 ($110-$920). The penalties could reach €1,500 in the case of aggravating circumstances and €3,000 for repeat offenders.

According to the legislation, the time limit for under-age rape victims to lodge a complaint will be increased from 20 to 30 years after they turn 18.

The bill will also introduce new sexual consent law under which the age of consent will be set as 15 years old. The proposed changes come in the aftermath of a case in which a rape charge was dropped when a court ruled than an 11-year-old girl had consented to sex with a man more than twice her age, reported RT News.

However, critics, including actress Catherine Deneuve, have either questioned how the law could be applied or mocked it as an end to French romance.