Luxembourg’s justice ministry is working on a draft bill to create a separate offence for punishing acts of incest on minors and extending the statute of limitations.
Currently, national legislation does not punish incest as a separate offence, either in its penal code or special laws, and incest is only cited as an aggravating circumstance of rape or sexual abuse.
Justice minister Sam Tanson (déi Gréng) outlined the goal in her response to a parliamentary question on Thursday, adding: “In this context, it is clear that, in addition to the creation of a criminal offence, it is necessary to consider the possibilities of reinforcing the awareness and prevention system.”
According to figures published by Tanson’s ministry, there were five cases of incestual rape or sexual abuse of a minor reported in 2015, four in 2016, two in 2017 and one in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
The question comes after a new hashtag #metooinceste began spreading on social media platforms in France, giving victims of rape or sexual abuse at the hands of a family member a voice.
According to LSAP MP Dan Biancalana, the trend was prompted by the publication of the book “La Familia Grande” by Camille Kouchner. He said the hashtag was “followed by a frightening wave of testimonies. In Luxembourg, the hashtag that appeared on social media did not generate the same number of testimonies. However, we must be aware that such cases are certainly not non-existent in our country.”
The Association of Social Pediatrics, Alupse, which is responsible for the care of victims of incest, has in the past pointed out the slowness of procedures and investigations into incest and the toll it takes on victims.
Authorities in France and Belgium are currently reflecting on how to qualify acts of incest as an offence in its own right. On Monday, MPs in the French National Assembly unanimously passed a law that will prohibit sex with relatives aged under 18. It comes after a series of sexual abuse scandals in the country.