LTV calls for reporting of unwanted sexual behavior

Latvian Television's lead editor Dagnija Neimane-Vēvere published a statement on March 13 calling for experiences of unwanted sexual behavior at school, university, training facilities, or similar establishments to be reported to LTV.

The statement is reproduced below.

"LTV's "Culture Shock" seems to have opened Pandora's box. To be fair, the information about the alleged harassment of female students by teachers at the Academy of Music came as a shock only to some viewers. Because many people already knew about it. Unfortunately, also from their own experience.

"Hearing that someone has finally dared to speak publicly about it, others are also revealing their stories. For now, however, it is more correct to write "others" in the feminine, because the stories that have come out are from young women who have been sexually harassed by male teachers. The teachers are recognized authorities in music and the arts. Outside the university, also loving husbands and caring fathers. But alongside that, gallant Casanovas and 'skirt hunters'. And this is known both by other colleagues and by the university authorities, but - it goes on. 'I think that a good study of the cult of genius can come out of this. The bigger the artist, the bigger the benefits!' This is what a PhD student at the Academy of Arts wrote to LTV's Panorama today, sharing her experience. But she does not want to talk about it publicly, because she hopes that the Academy will soon become her place of work.

"Excellence is unthinkable without quality education, safe education and, I want to stress this, a safe environment at school, university and in the workplace." This is what President of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs said while presenting the Grand Music Award in the category "Young Musician of the Year". The audience responded with applause. The context was clear to all.

"Problems of this nature are not only in academia. There are also several precedents of teachers and coaches harassing minors in schools, in sports, and in various camps. Often, people talk about these cases with a long time lag, because they were afraid in the past that it would affect their future, or simply because they were too inexperienced to understand what was going on.

"Latvian Television urges people to speak up! Unwanted touching, sexual messages on social networks, ambiguous remarks in everyday life, sending or requesting nude photos, and intimate relationships between students and teachers.

"If you or your children have experienced something like this at school, at sports practice, during studies - write to us! We will keep you anonymous, but we will not keep quiet about people who have some power over a pupil or student using it in this way. Email [email protected], WhatsApp 20553333. Silence encourages bullies!"

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