France finally made incest a crime, reinstating it into the country's penal code more than 200 years after French revolutionaries threw it out as a "religious taboo".According to The Telegraph, until now, incest was lumped together in French law in the category "rape" and "sex abuse".
Now, French MPs have passed a bill specifically singling it out as an offence.
Isabelle Aubry, president of the international association for incest victims,, immediately welcomed the vote, saying: "Before fighting a taboo, one must start by naming it."
The new law defines incest as rape or sexual abuse "within the family, on a minor, by a relative or any other person having lawful or de facto authority over the victim". This includes parents, siblings and partners of family members.
The law is more than symbolic as it reinforces the notion of constraint.
Louis Fort, an MP from President Nicolas Sarkozy's right-wing UMP party who drew up the law, described it as a victory for France's estimated "two million victims of incest".
The law also introduces measures to raise awareness in schools about incest and improve support for victims.