MP Marija Selak-Raspudic of the Most party on Friday commented on reports of sexual harassment at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb, calling for clear protocols of action in such cases at universities.
“I will advocate a Fininish model to ensure that on enrolment at a university in Croatia students get acquainted with a person they can contact in cases like this and become familiar with laws that protect their rights,” Selak-Raspudic told a press conference in the parliament building.
A particular problem is the fact that students are not familiar with a clear protocol in cases of sexual harassment, in which young people’s trust is abused in the worst possible way. Victims of sexual harassment have a deep mistrust of the institutions and do not believe that the offenders will be punished appropriately, as shown by a growing number of anonymous complaints, the MP said.
Despite the fact that protection against sexual harassment is guaranteed by several laws and regulations, their implementation in practice is still a problem, Selak-Raspudic said.
Citing data from the Ministry of the Interior, she said that there had been 50 victims of sexual harassment in the first 11 months of 2020 and 65 victims in the whole of 2019.
As the chair of the Gender Equality Committee, Selak-Raspudic said she would soon call a session on the subject of sexual harassment in universities and the need for state institutions to encourage reporting of such crimes.
Jutarnji List newspaper reported in its Friday edition that the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb had received three non-anonymous and eight anonymous complaints of sexual harassment. Five of the complaints concern four professors still working there, while the rest concern three retired professors and one former associate lecturer. One of the complaints was made against a woman, the newspaper said.
The Dean of the Academy, Franka Perkovic-Gamulin, said that they had hired a lawyer and that further steps would be discussed at a meeting with the Gender Equality Ombudsman on Monday.