Océane speaks publicly about her story in the hope that the law can protect her.
Océane is scared. Fear that her attacker will take away the child she had after being raped and that he will attack her. The story of the young local woman sparked outrage in Quebec this week. She screams from the heart so that the law can protect them.
The one we call Océane to protect her identity says that after being raped by her roommate and friend, three years ago, she became pregnant. She chose to keep the child.
Now, from the prison where he is serving a five-year sentence for the rape of Océane and three other people, the attacker claims the paternity of the child.
Thanks to a provision in the Family Law Act, he can demand a DNA test and have his name listed on the toddler's birth certificate.
The young woman says she is scared. For my safety and especially that of my son. That's what I was most afraid of. I said it clearly in front of the judge before the paternity test was accepted. I said if he ever does it, then it's him, I'm really scared of what will happen next. It was clearly said. The judge seemed to understand what I was saying, but she said that the law is like that, it should be like that.
Me Suzanne Zaccour, lawyer responsible for feminist law reform for the National Association of Women and the Law, corroborates the judge's decision. She explains that there are different ways to be recognized as a parent: by a birth certificate, by being married to the person who gives birth to the child and by the genetic link.
< p class="e-p">I think it would have been difficult for the judge to decide otherwise even if the mother told her that she was afraid. It was difficult because for the establishment of filiation, there is no analysis of the interest of the child and even less of the interest of the mother, she acknowledges.
When Océane received the demands of her attacker, she burst into tears. He wanted to change my boy's name to his own, he wanted me to meet his mother while he gets out of prison, logically he wants to have parental rights over my boy. […] I was like, “Why is he doing this? What more does he want from me?"
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Océane speaks publicly about her story in the hope that the law can protect her and her child. Her public outing resulted in a law firm coming forward to represent her pro bono.
Lawyer Suzanne Zaccour explains that it is when determining whether the aggressor will be able to have rights of access or rights of custody, the interest of the child could be taken into account. If a request is made for the deprivation of his parental authority. So he can recognize his affiliation, but he can be disqualified if certain circumstances are met. She adds that Quebec law refuses to recognize the interest of the parents or the interest of the mother.
Océane is waiting for news from her lawyers to find out how things will go. What I fear is seeing him, seeing him near my boy, it really scares me. […] I'm afraid that he'll do the same thing again, or that he'll go away with my boy, that he'll simply steal him from me.
Legal proceedings are likely to be long according to Me Zaccour.
“Often violent men will use the justice system as a weapon to continue the violence. It is extremely common. […] Often, they have more means than their victim and often the woman does not have the chance to be represented. So they get taken to court repeatedly. »
— Me Suzanne Zaccour, lawyer responsible for feminist legal reform for the National Association of Women and the Law
Océane wants her story to get things moving. If it ever doesn't work for me, it would be for someone else after me.
More than anything, she dreams of this nightmare ending. I just want to be in my own things, with my boy. Just live my own things.
With information from Julie Grenon