INFO FRANCEINFO. #MeToo of the armies: a report addresses 50 recommendations to better deal with sexual and gender-based violence within military institutions

The meeting was held by videoconference on Tuesday June 11 at 11 a.m. In a small room at the Ministry of the Armed Forces, in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, Sébastien Lecornu, his closest advisors and the three “inspectors”, came to present them with the conclusions of a 154-page report drawn up in barely a month and a half . In this report, the inspectors address 50 recommendations to better take into account internal reports, support victims and prevent actions, starting with military schools.

On the other side of the screens, 700 military executives, including the first of them, General Thierry Burkhard, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces. Before giving the floor to the inspectors, the Minister of the Armed Forces insisted: “A certain number of serious facts have come to our attention, through the press and through hierarchical channels. We have nothing to hide, we owe total transparency.” Sébastien Lecornu refutes the idea of ​​systemic sexual and gender-based violence in the army, and “fears an amalgamation between individual excesses and the failings of an institution”.

In his mission letter, on April 12, the Minister of the Armed Forces hoped that this report would lead to “improving support for victims and affirming a ministerial desire to be irreproachable in the treatment of sexual and gender-based violence”.

At the end of a month and a half of work, the 154-page report, to which franceinfo had access, provides a sometimes harsh inventory of sexual and gender-based violence in the military world. “We cannot deny that there are still dysfunctions in the detection of sexual and gender-based violence, hesitations in their treatment when it is not a lack of understanding of what they cover”write the three inspectors – a general of the gendarmerie, the general surgeon of the armies at the army health service and a general armaments engineer.

In 2023, 226 reports were reported to the Thémis platform out of a population of 200,000 military personnel. “This is little”say the inspectors who point out the lack of freedom of speech among the victims, which they explain in particular by the fact that “two thirds of those questioned within the ministry think that reporting acts of sexual and gender-based violence could harm their professional career”or even by the fact that “to denounce is to betray the group”.

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