Big rise in reports of sexual misconduct in creative sectors

Some 120 people who work in the cultural and creative sectors have reported instances of sexual misconduct in the wake of the Voice of Holland scandal.

In the first three days after allegations of the abuse surfaced, Mores, an organisation set up to tackle sexual abuse in the creative sector, was contacted 97 times, equalling the total number for the whole of 2021.

Reports of abusive situations have since gone up to 120, the organisation’s director Janke Dekker told television talk show Jinek.

Dekker said that 15% of cases in the preceding years were serious enough to merit prosecution. ‘For the reports coming in over those three days it was more like 50%,’ Dekker said.

The organisation also received emails from people working in law firms, aviation and the medical sector asking where they could report abuse in the workplace.

Reports to the police come to nothing in 80% of cases, Dekker said, because the abuse is difficult to prove. Employers, who have a duty to provide a safe working environment, often tell women to avoid the person or accuse them of being too sensitive, Dekker said.

The events surrounding The Voice of Holland and the shock resignation of Ajax technical director Marc Overmars over cyber flashing female staff have prompted the government to set up a Metoo# government commissioner.

Former SEC chairwoman Mariëtte Hamer, who started in the job at the beginning of April, will be organising a long-term social debate aimed at raising awareness and bringing about a culture change.

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