More calls to Sexual Violence hotline after The Voice scandal
A week and a half after the first revelations of sexually transgressive behavior at the talent show The Voice of Holland, the Center for Sexual Violence (CSG) is still receiving more calls and chats than usual. Most people report experiencing sexual violence a long time ago.
Wher the CSG usually conducts about 12 to 13 chat conversations a day, on the day that BNN/VARA program BOOS put the episode about The Voice online on Thursday, there were 341 chat conversations. On Friday, the center had 286 chat conversations. "The chats just keep coming," said CSG head Iva Bicanic. "Where we normally have two emergency workers on the cats at night, we were still short of hands during the peak with 12 emergency workers."
The number of chats decreased over the weekend but remained above average. On Monday, CSG workers held a total of 131 conversations.
There are also more calls coming in than usual. On the day of the BOOS broadcast, the center received 92 calls - over four times as many as the same day a year ago. On Friday, there were 232 calls. Over the weekend, the number of calls dropped to about 70 a day. On Monday, the phone rang 101 times.
"The reporting on the alleged abuse on The Voice of Holland has had an enormously triggering effect," said Bicanic. "It triggered something for many victims of sexual violence. There was no escaping it; the whole of the Netherlands was talking about sexual violence, wherever you looked or listened. For many victims, this caused hidden memories to surface, and thus the suffering pressure increased."
The reports came, for example, from people who were struggling with re-experiences, sleeping-, and concentration problems. Others called because they felt empowered to seek help after hearing stories in the media. People also called who realized that they themselves had been a victim after all the attention to the subject.
Last week, the CSG called in a "Letter to the Netherlands" to prevent victim-blaming. According to the center, 75 percent of victims of sexual violence face accusatory comments and inappropriate questions.
The organization Victim Support also reported that chat conversations tripled last week.
BOOS maker Tim Hofman also notices the first results of his episode on The Voice of Holland. "Something seems to be moving," the presenter wrote on Instagram. "We see companies, universities, associations, and other institutes adjusting their policies to create a safer environment. A Cabinet (including Prime Minister) speaks out. Men talk to each other, women share with each other," said Hofman. This is a "valuable" development, but "we are not there yet," he added. "It feels like the first big breath of a new wind."
The presenter also thanked all the people who told their stories about the abuses behind the scenes at The Voice in the broadcast. Dozens of women spoke out about sexually transgressive behavior on the RTL program. This included accusations against band leader Jeroen Rietbergen and coaches Marco Borsato and Ali B.
Reporting by ANP