French parliament starts debating sexual violence bill

France's lower house of parliament is planning to debate a law to fight sexual and gender-based violence — a move that comes in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

The proposed law aims to better protect children under 15 by saying that rape and sexual assault can result from an "abuse of vulnerability" of the victim.

Women's groups say the text doesn't go far enough. They want an explicit mention that anyone under 15 cannot consent to sex with an adult.

Two recent cases prompted outrage as French courts refused to prosecute men for rape after they had sex with 11-year-old girls because authorities couldn't prove coercion. French law doesn't set a legal age of consent for sex.

The bill also imposes fines of 90 euros ($108) for gender-based public harassment.