Sébastien Boueilh’s history

Landes: Rape victim, he creates an association to break down the silence

Published on 18 June 2013, 6.00am. “Sud-Ouest”
By Aurélie Champagne

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The mission of the association “Colosse aux pieds d’argile” is to raise awareness about paedophilia in sports.
Sébastien Boueil, president of Colosse aux pieds d’argile, will carry out awareness-raising measures in sports clubs as from September. (Photo by Nicolas Le Lièvre).
It was on May, the trial lasted three days. Before the Landes Criminal Court, he took off his armour, changed his Herculean image to show his injuries, surpassed the shame and guilt to describe the rapes he suffered, in the 1990s, in Téthieu, when he was only 12 years old.
When his abuser was sentenced to ten years in prison, Sébastien Boueilh wanted to give a concrete meaning to all these years of pain which locked him “in a world of hatred”.
Surrounded by his loved ones, he created the association “Colosse aux pieds d’argile” – phrase used by his lawyer during the trial – dedicated to the prevention and sensitization about paedophile risks in sports.
It is located at the premises of the Saint Paul Sport Rugby, which lends its facilities.
“This association is an element of my reconstruction”, explains Sébastien Boueilh, president of Colosse aux pieds d’argile. “But it exists overall to help other victims. During the trial, I couldn’t sleep, I was thinking. I told myself that I managed to talk about what I had suffered but that other people could not do it”.
The relay of social networks
The association Colosse aux pieds d’argile wants to go further assisting rape victims and helping them free their voices, via social networks and an electronic address, and anonymously.
“During the trial, I posted everything on Facebook”, notes Sébastien. “I received responses of victims who had never told anyone of their experience. We are helping a girl who came to me 10 days ago, she was dragged down into a destructive spiral.” This Tuesday, the girl has an appointment with a psychiatrist.
“With Mathieu, we were rape victims from 12 to 16 years old. When we were able to talk, we were 30. We surpassed the glance of others, the guilt. We can help people because they may not be supported in their close circle. And, we know what we are talking about…” In this difficult task, Colosse aux pieds d’argile has come closer to the victim support association, Adavem. “My psychologist, who is victim support counsellor, gives me lots of advice. I can not be alone in this action.”

To the man, it is urgent that the victims speak. “For the rape victims born in 1975, it is the last year to lodge a complaint because there is a statute of limitations 20 years after the majority of the victim. Concerning touching, it is the last year for the victims born in 1980. Silence ruins life. If we can support them in this process and break this barrier, it will be a victory. To me, the trial changed everything: I went from a world of hate to a wonderful world. It strengthened ties in the whole family.”

  • “Taboos are still too rooted in the society, particularly here! I hope the courage of those who created the association will help break down taboos and silence! So, I repeat: thank you to the Association for being there, finally!”
  • “Hello and congratulations for your initiative! My children are part of a rugby club and I would really like your association to organise prevention initiatives for players on this theme still taboo but so important for everyone, whether we are victims or not.”