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Mihajlovic on sexual harassment in Research Station Petnica: "You knew about it and did nothing"

"Instead of solving the problem, the Petnica management of the time covered it up, denying and turning a blind eye on what was happening," said the deputy prime minister of Serbia

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Zorana Mihajlović

Photo: Tanjug/Zoran Zestic

Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia and President of the Coordination Body for Gender Equality Professor Dr. Zorana Mihajlovic said today that the issue of sexual harassment and violence against minors, which was taking place from 2003 to 2014 in the Petnica Research Station is not only devastating for society, but a huge responsibility of the the former management of this institution, adding that it is necessary to know the name of the associate (accused of harassment).

"To justify the knowledge that an associate sexually harassed underage girls by saying that he was a 'difficult suicidal man', prone to mistreating people, is disgraceful and unacceptable coming from then director Vigor Majic. Mr. Majic, don't you think that, as you say, you 'not wanting to have him on your conscience' was less important than the lives of those children who trusted you and wanted to make progress, get educated and realize their potential, that got abused by someone in authority? What use do they and their parents have from your apology today? You knew what was going on in the institution you were in charge of and what did you do? You did nothing," Mihajlovic said.

Mihajlovic stressed that Serbia today is a mature society ready to fight against all forms of violence and discrimination, and that women are no longer silent and hiding under the veil of guilt.

"Unfortunately, instead of solving the problem, the Petnica management of the time covered it up, denying and turning a blind eye on what was happening. I believe that the competent ministry will react in accordance with its powers and that those responsible will in fact be held accountable for their professional responsibility. Also, I expect the name of the man who abused and sexually harassed underage girls for years to be revealed. There have been at least 20 (victims). For the sake of the institution that is there to nurture talent and young scientists, and above all for the sake of children who go there," said Mihajlovic.


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