The Slovenia Times

Paper expects minister to act on sexual abuse on arts scene


Koper - The regional newspaper Primorske Novice writes on Monday that the culture minister should be taken at her word when she promised, in response to the sex abuse scandal, that the ministry will take action to make sure the culture sector is a safe place where victims of abuse will not be afraid to speak out.

Referring to the sex abuse scandal linked to DuĊĦan Josip Smodej, the leader of the Ljubljana gallery Fotopub, the paper says it is right to speak about loud and often about such a deject deed as sexual abuse.

It also says that the problem of sexual harassment in the culture sector in Slovenia is well known to everyone.

"On this point, the culture minister has an opportunity to prove herself as a politician and take on the problem systematically and uncompromisingly. Above all, she must not succumb to the tactics of the opposition SDS, which is using the scandal to smear politicians and to attack contemporary culture and NGOs, which have always been a thorn in its side."

The paper notes that the minister assured the public her ministry would initiate all possible procedures to consider systemic measures within its powers to speak more openly about the issue and to empower victims to the extent that they decide to report the perpetrators without feeling abused or exposed. "At this point, the public must take her at her word and keep an eye on her actions."

Still, the paper also says that not all is in the minister's hands to deal with the problem of "modern plague" that prevents the victims from reporting the crimes. It offers the example of actor Mia Skrbinac, who reported being sexually abused by her professor, which made her into a symbol of a abused girl.

It is understandable the victims do not dare to come forward and report to the police what happened to them as society immediately turns them "either into martyrs or spittoons where those who spit in those receptacle are the root of the problem."

"Our society does not need another Mia Skrbinac. All it needs is a boost of morality and an awareness of the power of words," concludes the piece headlined We Don't Need another Symbol of Victim.


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