After the stupor, CentraleSupelec takes action against sexual assault

The results plunged CentraleSupelec into a state of amazement. October 7, the daily Le Monde unveils the conclusions of an internal investigation conducted online by the feminist association Çapèse. Out of 659 respondents – among the 2,400 first and second year students surveyed – 51 women and 23 men say they have been victims of sexual harassment, 46 women and 25 men have been sexually assaulted and 20 women and 8 men have been raped. . They are 110 women and 25 men to declare to have been the object of sexist remarks, 43 women and 34 men of non-sexual physical contact.

A questionnaire which reacted even to the Minister of Higher Education Frédérique Vidal and whose conclusions motivated the Evry prosecutor’s office to open a preliminary investigation for “sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape”. This deflagrating report also pushed the school to rethink its actions to fight against violence of which it was far from measuring the extent.

Psychological, legal, social and educational support

Set up several years ago, the unit for the fight against gender-based and sexual violence, harassment and discrimination, previously managed by two school psychologists, will now be managed by the France Victimes association. “In asking ourselves the question of why the cases were not brought up to this cell, we did not find a clear explanation. But by consulting sociological and criminological studies, we found that people who are victims of rape have great difficulty expressing themselves to a person in the institution, hence the externalization ”, justifies Emilie Roger, gender equality referent at CentraleSupelec.

The school also announces that the victims will be able to be accompanied by lawyers in criminal law, whose mission will be to qualify the facts and to determine the legal answers to be given. “For each complaint, the school will be a civil party and will pay the lawyers’ fees if the victim does not have the means ”, indicates Emilie Roger. A social framework is also in place, to allow a victim to move if she resides on campus near her attacker. Arrangements for courses and exams can also be considered if the assaulted person does not feel ready to return to group lessons.

In addition to classic disciplinary measures, such as warning, blame or exclusion, the disciplinary council does not refrain from taking additional measures to protect victims, such as forcing the aggressor to take distance courses, to study on another campus (in addition to Paris-Saclay, the school is located in Metz and Rennes) or prohibit him from joining a school association.

Prevention extended to all students and staff

Beyond taking charge of the pupils, the prevention of this violence remains the major challenge for the school. The feminist association Çapèse, which organizes training on the theme of sexual and gender-based violence for members and offices of student associations, has decided to extend them to the entire campus. “We are an ear to listen, says Ibtissam Hamich, second year student and president of the association. We had several exchanges with victims who told us that our investigation had given them courage, others for whom it was still too hard to talk about it other than anonymously. We have also had men who came to see us to tell us that they had become aware of the concept of consent. ”

In cooperation with management, the Çapèse association will also provide training to the entire CentraleSupelec ecosystem: teachers, administrative and technical staff, doctoral student or member of the disciplinary council. “It must be carried out at different levels, complete Emilie Roger. One of the points that emerged from the survey is that there is a very generalized ignorance of what sexual violence is and how to react to it. “ In the longer term, CentraleSupelec wishes to set up a support group so that victims can talk to each other.

Source: UsineNouvelle – Actualités A la une by

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