120 reports after The Voice sex abuse scandal; Victims request independent investigation
Hotline MORES, where victims of undesirable behavior in the creative sector can report, has received 120 responses since the revelations of sexual abuse around The Voice. The hotline received a total of 97 reports in 2021, chairman Jane Dekker said on Jinek. Lawyer Sebas Diekstra wants the Cabinet to conduct an independent and impartial investigation into the abuses around the talent show.
Dekker noted that the ratio of the severity of reports to MORES is different than before. "Normally, the ratio was 85-15, and then the reports in the second group tend towards criminal," she said. "The ratio of reports we received after The Voice was 50-50."
In the aftermath of The Voice, the hotline also received many emails from people in other sectors who wanted to know where to go with reports of undesirable behavior. "From aviation to the legal profession - this problem is really not just in the media sector."
According to MORES, many victims say that little is done with reports submitted to the police. "80 percent of all sex offenses are eventually dismissed," Dekker said. "Few cases come to court. It is about finding the truth, and as long as there is no evidence of violence, it is very difficult to prove a case."
But with The Voice and other programs, the employer has a legal obligation to comply with, Dekker stressed. "An employer must create a safe working environment for everyone. You can and must hold an employer accountable for this."
Lawyer Diekstra, who represents several victims in The Voice scandal, wants Mariette Hamer, the new government commissioner for sexually transgressive behavior, to urge the Cabinet to launch an independent and impartial investigation into the abuses surrounding The Voice of Holland. Diekstra said that in conversation with ANP on Tuesday.
"Only by doing good investigation can real justice be done for the victims," said Diekstra. The lawyer fears that further hesitation in tackling the abuses will eventually lead to dropped cases.
"If we don't act now, we lose the momentum to drive the change needed to break through the culture that leads to sexually transgressive behavior," Diekstra said. "If you as a government don't do anything now, you can't say later that you did everything you could."
In April, the Cabinet appointed Hamer as the new government commissioner to "create awareness and a culture change, because harassment and abuse are not acceptable." The commissioner may give the Cabinet solicited or unsolicited advice on measures needed to combat sexually inappropriate behavior.
Reporting by ANP