The case of "Petnica" and "Mika Aleksic" case: So similar, it is not uncommon VIDEO

Five women revealed in the media that in the period from 2003 to 2014, they were the victims of sexual harassment in the research station "Petnica".

Source: B92
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Foto: IS Petnica
Foto: IS Petnica

As they stated in the story for the weekly "Vreme", they were sexually abused by a person marked as "S", who, as they say, was presented as a person of authority.

"Vreme" states that it is about forcing underage and young adult girls to take photos without clothes, and they said that "S" manipulated the victims, that he openly forced them to drink alcohol, blackmailed them and threatened them. In two cases, there was physical aggression, and in one case, the victim was photographed in an unconscious state.

They all named the same person for the attacks and pointed out that they were in contact with more than 20 other victims. According to "Vreme", the management of Petnica admitted that it had known about the problem since 2014, and that it found out about the scale in 2017, when the employment relationship with the disputed person was terminated.

The B92.net portal contacted Vigor Majić, the founder and former director of Petnica, who briefly said that he had been asked not to comment on the case until the institution issued a statement.

Professor Dr Nevena Čalovska Hercog for B92.net portal explained in detail the type of abuse when it comes to persons of authority.

"We have a structure in relationships where someone who has power and influence, who decides on the relationship, abuses power and demands that his demands be met and that is why it is absolute abuse. It is never just sexual abuse... Here it is not just physical, but also psychological violence", stated Čalovska Hercog for B92.net.

When asked if these events in Petnica are reminiscent of the case of Mika Aleksić, she pointed out that the case is similar.

She explained that abuse, when it comes to persons of authority, is "dysfunctional behavior" and that such a case of violence is not uncommon. "However, we have situations in which conditions have been created so that such things can be answered, that is, proceedings can be initiated in some cases," she said, adding that many people are encouraged to come forward and find out what happened to them.

Just as a reminder, Aleksić is in custody, and the Ministry of the Interior announced that it is suspected that Aleksić sexually assaulted five of his students in the premises of the acting school "Matter of the Heart" in Belgrade, two of whom were minors at the time of the crime...

T. S. (48), who is supposed to testify in the trial against Aleksić, described to the Belgrade media what happened to her. "When we were 13, he made us talk about erogenous zones. We were all very ashamed. And then he divided us into pairs, told us girls to squint and let the boys touch us, everywhere. Including the intimate parts", she told Blic.

"He asked us to close our eyes, and then for the boys to run their hands all over our bodies, from head to toe. And on the intimate parts. We were all very ashamed. I was confused and horrified, but it was not allowed to say 'no' to Mika! Mika chose who would be paired with whom. I remember, the boy who was with me was called Vojkan, I forgot his last name. Mika later asked us to describe how we felt. I clearly remember, I said 'creepy', and he got mad and made me describe it accurately. I tried to explain it to myself as an acting exercise because we were going to have to do it on film too. Only later, when I grew up, did I realize how abnormal it is. Children don't shoot sexy scenes", she added.

He could be sentenced to over 10 years in prison for the criminal offense he is charged with.

A smirch on Petnica's image

Family therapist Ljiljana Filipović was surprised by this news and points out for B92.net that the whole case should be investigated.

"I'm amazed, because Petnica is a place where talented children gather. Is this for real or is it something made up? I would put brackets, until it is checked, there is no need to comment. Something like this should never happen in such a place, because it should be a role model for children and help them progress", said Filipović for our portal.

Asked to comment on the allegations about the person who allegedly abused the girls, she pointed out that it was a matter of "abuse of authority". "(It is) about the abuse of authority. Those children are traumatized. They had left their home, and their parents sent them there in full confidence. They returned with trauma. Young girls are traumatized. This is a big stain on Petnica as an institution. Which of the parents will let the children go there when something like that is heard?”, our interlocutor asks.

She explained that the children were placed in a boarding school there with full confidence in that institution and the staff there. Speaking about the people who stated that they were abused, she explained that they may have problems entering into a close relationship in the future.

"These are fears that can remain and cause the consequences of their future experiences with partners, (to form) the fear of entering into a close relationship," said Filipović and pointed out that they should talk to an expert in order to heal the trauma.

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