The MP Denis Baupin (EELV) in Nantes September 18, 2012 – JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD AFP

They are now thirteen. Already referred last month by several accusations of sexual assault and sexual harassment, Denis Baupin is again in turmoil. On Monday, France Inter and
 Mediapart revealed five new witnesses against environmentalist against former Vice President of the National Assembly, accused today by thirteen women of facts constituting
 Sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Start the judicial machine

The call Sandrine Rousseau was heard. On May 9, eight women, four elected, breaking the silence, delivering damning testimony that had triggered the day after the opening of a preliminary investigation by the Paris prosecutor’s office.

Among them, Sandrine Rousseau, current spokesman for EELV, other women called to testify in turn. A call answered by five new women. And if the first eight charges concern events prescribed today, the testimony of the five other women could trigger the judicial machine. And because these alleged facts, “committed between 1998 and 2014 and which do not concern that militant environmentalists,” say France Inter and Mediapart, not all prescribed and could be deposits of complaints in court .

“If the prosecutor had before, it would open an investigation by the judicial police. Witnesses would be heard, as Denis Baupin, and the outcome of the investigation, the prosecutor may decide to refer to the criminal court, “says Maude Me Beckers, a lawyer and lawyers’ union of France (SAF) . “For the facts of sexual harassment, it would incur two years imprisonment and a 45,000 euro fine and three years in case of aggravating circumstances. In cases of sexual assault, the maximum penalty is five years imprisonment, “said the lawyer, who defends a number of cases of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Change mentalities

“women victims of sexual assault or harassment have always talked to their personal or professional circle. But until now, it was not followed by action, “says Caroline De Haas, co-founder of the website ”
 One in five women is a victim of harassment on five. We must change attitudes,
  to end impunity. And the reaction that followed the first evidence against Denis Baupin is encouraging. There was empathy and the word of the women was taken seriously. It’s already a big change, which helps and encourages other victims to speak in turn, “she said.

But there is still a large background of work to do. “The statistics of recent years show that there are about a sexual harassment complaint per year per high court resulting raises Me Beckers. And in general, the perpetrators are sentenced to several months’ suspended imprisonment, “says one who works within the European Association against violence against women at work (AVFT). “But there is awareness that emerges. The victims seem to be understood today, whereas before the opinion was more in doubt about them. Yet they have no interest in “drop the bomb”, which can have a great impact on their professional and personal lives. It takes a lot of courage and this is not something that is made with the sole aim of obtaining damages, also largely due to the harm suffered “says Maude Beckers.

Shake policy

Now the ball is in the camp of the political class. Let’s raise the collective omerta, Caroline De Haas launched on May 9 a petition on Change to end sexual violence in politics. “We have addressed the Republicans, the Socialist Party, but also the presidents of the Assembly and the Senate. But to date, we had no return from them. Either it is not their priority, ie it protects their buddies, “fumed the militant, who” does not understand that political will are not already seized of this issue. “

As road safety or disability, “the issue of violence against women should be a priority of the government. It now expects a strong word of the president and prime minister, “called feminist. “A strong word that does not come. We need the political will shake “