It was quite surprising that, as soon as he got promoted from Dean to a high political job, the research projects which depended on the Women’s Institute suddenly stopped to be part of the National R&D Plan, after 12 years of close cooperation. However, it did not surprise at all the gender violence victims from the University where he had been acting as Dean. Not only had he spread lies about those who suffered his mercilessly attacks, but also he had responded to their demands for equality units by saying that there would never be any in any Spanish University. According to him, there were no gender-based violence cases in Spanish colleges and, if there ever were, the colleges’ legal services would address them.
It did not take long before the research work of the victims and the international solidarity succeeded in refuting his assertion. The Spanish parliament established as mandatory the creation of these equality units, leading the aforementioned Dean to be one of the first to appoint a person in charge. He explained why he chose a female teacher by saying that since she was not a feminist, she would represent women in a professional way.
When he lost his political position, he wanted to get back to being the Dean of his university at any cost. He had to neutralize the criticism against him, so he actively engaged in one of the greatest attacks suffered by the victims of gender violence in Spanish Universities. What he did not realise is that, in his absence, the movement as well as the international solidarity had much progressed and that the attacks on the victims were like a boomerang against those who spread them. In his despair for not accepting the loss of a position he considered his, among other things, he started contacting powerful people to show them written reports containing all the lies that the harassers’ lobby had disseminated about the victims and those who had backed them.
Victims and those who supported them have to congratulate themselves for the fact that he failed on his endeavour. His return would have meant to go back in time to the worst of the scenarios. But victims should also be happy because, even if he had managed to get his job back, he would have no longer been able to perform the same kind of actions. The strength of the movement against sexual harassment in Spanish Universities and in different types of institutions at an international level is now a lot stronger than it has ever was before.
* This article is part of Omerta in the University, a series of publications that address the fierce law of silence generated in some Universities concerning sexual harassment