Summer camps: on the internet, young people report sexual violence – France



Every summer, Ana

he frequented the leisure center of his hometown, Normandy. A new 24 year old host was very kind to her when she was 13 years old. But “during an outing to the pool, where I was the only girl, she abused me in the locker room,” she says. The 17-year-old speaks for the first time about this rape, encouraged by similar testimonials posted on social media, in particular TikTok, widely used by young people.

The Bafa pointed out

The move was launched in early March by 21-year-old Anissa, an influencer and host of summer camps, who received “hundreds of testimonials” after making a video on the subject on TikTok, seen over 1, 5 million times.

The feminist activist wants to show the “problem” of the animation sector so that there is “an evolution”. “I heard animators sexualize 13-year-old girls, flirt, ask them for their number,” says Anissa.

Like other supervisors, she considers that the issue of sexual violence is insufficiently addressed during the training of the certificate of facilitator (Bafa) which allows the guardianship of minors, on a one-off basis, in leisure centers or summer camps.

The Bafa is very interesting but too short

“It doesn’t teach us how to detect signs of violence,” says Sonia

, 24, who works in animation and has already noticed inappropriate behavior in some colleagues. “The Bafa is very interesting but too short.”

To obtain this diploma, accessible from the age of 17, it is necessary to follow a general theoretical training of eight days offered by various entities, carry out a practical internship of 14 days and participate in an in-depth session of six days.

“We do a specific job on the emotional relationship and authority” in front of children so that the future facilitator can get a good position, says Laurent Bernardi, national director of Ceméa, Bafa training organizations. According to him, the issue of sexual violence is “systematically addressed.” However, it can be “fairly quick” to say that any sexual intercourse between a minor and an adult who has authority over him is prohibited by law, he adds.

Some criticize the close ages of minors and supervisors, a setting that can encourage flirting.

For Anne-Sophie Chéron, a clinical psychologist, the main thing is to “explain to young instructors that they may be of interest” and that “they should not break the boundaries.” “The child or adolescent seeks tenderness, he may find himself embarked, in spite of himself, on something that goes further if the facilitator is not very clear about the boundaries,” he explains.

Freedom of expression

It’s her

she was “manipulated” at the age of 14 by a 27-year-old cheerleader at the Ardèche campsite where she spent her holidays. “He said sweet words to me, he gave me affection, I believed in him, I didn’t realize it was serious,” says the young woman who got excited. At 23, he now says he hopes “young people can see this kind of message” and dare to “talk” about it.

Attacks occur everywhere but in summer camps, some children are in a fragile situation because they are far from their parents.

Anonymous witnesses, posted on #MeTooAnimation accounts, also report child sexual abuse. “Assaults occur everywhere but in summer camps, some children are in a fragile situation because they are away from their parents,” describes Violaine Guérin, founder of the Stop Sexual Violence Association. In January, the Independent Commission on Incest and Sexual Violence against Children (Civise) reported that 10% of the first 3,800 witnesses it had received referred to victims of sexual violence in institutions (schools, sports clubs, etc.). ). Of this sample, 20% of the witnesses refer to a summer house. The Ciivise, which calls for victims of sexual violence to be declared to the institutions (0,805,802,804), will publish recommendations on Thursday to strengthen the “culture of protection”.

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