The left-wing parties and the presidential party have a specialized body on the management of sexual and gender-based violence. On the right and on the extreme right, no particular structure exists.
What to do in the event of an internal report on acts of sexual violence or violence against women? Political parties give different answers to this question. On the left, specialized cells have been set up. On the majority side, Renaissance provides in its new statutes for the installation of a body of this type. As for the National Rally (RN) and the Republicans (LR) party, they have no structure dedicated to this subject.
A unit of investigation and sanction among ecologists
Ecologists set up a listening cell in 2016 after the Denis Baupin affair. At the time, the former environmentalist deputy was under investigation by the Paris prosecutor’s office for sexual assault and harassment. Several elected members of the party, including Sandrine Rousseau, said they were victims of these actions.
Today, the device of the Greens has expanded functions. It is thus presented as an “investigation and sanction unit on harassment and sexual and sexist violence of Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV)”. The latter, specifies the party, is in particular responsible for “conducting investigations, either in the event of a complaint, or during an internal report”, before being able to subsequently pronounce sanctions. In this sense, a procedure is underway concerning Julien Bayou. The national secretary of environmentalists is accused by his ex-companion of psychological violence.
At the microphone of France Inter, the ecologist deputy Marie-Charlotte Garin specifies that a “training program” will be set up, in “complement to the cell”. The chosen one details the objective:
“That all those in charge within the party [soient] trained in the prevention of gender-based and sexual violence and its detection”
A specialized committee at La France insoumise
La France insoumise (LFI) has a “monitoring committee against sexist and sexual violence (CFCV)”. This body was seized during two recent cases: one concerning Taha Bouhafs, legislative candidate who had to give up the nomination after reports of internal sexual violence; the other, Eric Coquerel, rebellious deputy, accused of sexual harassment by the former yellow vest, Sophie Tissier.
The CFCV’s “mission is to be a place of listening, help and guidance for members of La France insoumise, victims or witnesses of acts of sexist and sexual violence”, can we read on the official website party. It is made up of “volunteer activists” from the party, trained on these subjects.
If it is seized, the CFCV can then transmit reports to the Committee for the respect of the principles, “the only one empowered to take decisions on behalf of the movement with regard to the alleged perpetrator”.
This body was not seized in the case of Adrien Quatennens, targeted by a handrail from his wife, Céline Quatennens, for acts of domestic violence.
At the PS, a commission which must not “replace justice”
The Socialist Party has a specialized commission on sexist and sexual violence. Corinne Narassiguin, number two of the party, announced its creation last July in the columns of the Figaro.
“We took time to create it because we wanted to carry out this work very seriously, without there being any question of replacing us with justice”, she explained.
Its role is to advise the party with a view to a possible withdrawal or exclusion. In addition, training has been provided to executives since 2019. In recent years, the rose party has been marked by cases of sexual assault and harassment within the Socialist Youth Movement.
A system linked to an independent association with the PCF
The French Communist Party (PCF), shaken by cases of sexual violence within the Young Communist Movement of France, also has a specialized structure.
“We have put a system in place, with an independent association responsible for collecting the words of possible victims, and which then alerts us and we take action (the management, editor’s note), explained Fabien Roussel on BFMTV on Tuesday.
Then, “a commission meets and pronounces a sanction”, also specified the boss of the PCF.
A “prevention, listening and alert” unit at Renaissance
Renaissance, the new presidential party, provides in its statutes for the establishment of a “prevention, listening and alert unit”, informs us L‘Opinion. Thus, article 18 specifies that it will be composed of 9 members appointed by Stéphane Séjourné, boss of Renaissance. Five of them will not be part of national bodies in order to limit conflicts of interest and pressure, specifies France Info.
This body can be seized by the executive bureau or the national conflict commission. It is also possible for him to self-seize in the event of non-compliance with the ethical principles of the party. The management of Renaissance also indicates that this unit “is not intended to replace the judicial authority”. A way to stand out from the rebellious and environmentalists, accused of managing these cases internally.
Thus, still in L’Opinion, it is specified that Aurore Bergé, leader of the majority, recalled during a group meeting on Tuesday that cases of sexual violence should not be settled within the party.
The majority has sometimes dithered on these subjects, as illustrated by the case of Jérôme Peyrat. The former adviser to Jacques Chirac and Nicolas had received the investiture of the Republic in March in the 4th district of Dordogne. However, his candidacy was debated because of his conviction for domestic violence in 2020. Stanislas Guerini, who was then general delegate of LaREM, had defended an “honest man” on France info. Faced with the outcry, Jérôme Peyrat announced the withdrawal of his candidacy the same day.
No specific structure for RN and LR
At the National Rally, no body has been created to specifically manage cases of gender-based and sexual violence. The party prefers to leave these cases to justice.
“We do not create ad hoc commissions to judge people”, justified on France Inter Sébastien Chenu, deputy of the RN and vice-president of the National Assembly. “If there are victims, let them file a complaint,” he added.
Within LR, no specialized committee exists. The number 3 of the party, Aurélien Pradié, is responsible for collecting reports. He had thus intervened with Damien Abad – formerly leader of the LR deputies in the Assembly, then passed under the Renaissance fold after an ephemeral appointment to the government – to inform him of inappropriate behavior with collaborators.