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In Lyon, the Hugo! wants to unite around the fight against bullying at school

“4 years ago, I was shouting loud and clear, on video, from my hospital room and then weakened by this scourge, that it was absolutely necessary to create an offense of bullying at school! “, recalled Hugo Martinez on his Twitter account, a few days before discussing with Emmanuel Macron, on November 4.

→ TESTIMONIALS. “Helping others contributes to my recovery”: victims of bullying at school, they no longer want to be silent

This 22-year-old Lyonnais founded the association Hugo!– acronym for “Harassers U Go!” »- in 2018 to combat the phenomenon at school, college and high school. He welcomes a ” collective victory “ recently obtained: after long months of work, MoDem deputies have just tabled a bill in the National Assembly to create a criminal offense “Specific”, beyond the general framework of moral harassment.

Renewing the legal framework

Like Marion The outstretched hand, created in 2014 by Nora Fraisse, after the suicide of her 13-year-old daughter, the association quickly became one of the references in the field. A victim of bullying for twelve years, Hugo Martinez began by broadcasting live videos on social networks, before joining forces with committed Lyon personalities, such as Élodie Roux de Bézieux, now vice-president of the structure.

→ READ. School bullying: Emmanuel Macron announces new measures

Thanks to 70 volunteers and strong partners, Hugo! operates through awareness raising, training and support for victims and also harassers. “In three years, we have helped more than 100,000 families”, estimates its general manager Pauline Frey.

From a legal point of view, it is not a question of seeking to punish stalkers at all costs – “Very often, they themselves suffer from a form of violence”, recalls Pauline Frey. But to recognize the victims as such and to take a first step towards taking charge of their therapeutic approach, for an amount that the association estimates at € 500 per month.

“The idea is to prevent the phenomenon long before certain situations turn into drama, she continues, because the news unfortunately proves us right. “ On Tuesday, October 5, Dinah, a 14-year-old high school student, killed herself after facing mockery and insults for several years.

A planned harassment observatory

The association has carried out constant work with political leaders, including the Breton deputy Erwan Balanant (MoDem), at the origin of a report containing 120 concrete proposals, submitted in October 2020, and who participated in the drafting of the bill, tabled ten days ago. On the citizen side, the petition launched by Hugo Martinez in October has now reached 25,000 signatures.

“We must create a momentum of adhesion and coordination”, explains Pauline Frey. She insists on the need to mobilize “As much national education, as associations, parents of students or justice. “

→ PORTRAIT. Jonathan Destin testifies against harassment

At the local level, the association has, for example, made the small town of Mornant (Rhône) sign an unprecedented agreement providing for a “360 °” action: multiple awareness sessions at school, training of agents. voluntary extracurricular activities, conferences and debates for residents.

The objectives take on another scale at the national level: Hugo Martinez recently proposed the creation of the National Observatory of Harassment at School, College and High School (Onhecol), combining “ the strengths of associations and experts ”, and for which 36 structures have already been contacted.


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