In 2004, in CREA we decided to break the silence about gender violence in Spanish universities with the research Gender Violence in Spanish universities (Valls, 2004), the first project funded by the National R+D Plan about this topic in the Spanish context. The study allowed to provide clear data about the magnitude of this problem in a moment when there was no legal framework to prevent sexual harassment in universities in Spain. Before this initiative, a lobby of harassers in university started a campaign of anonymous defamations against the members of CREA.

As a response to the terrible attacks a campaign of solidarity with our work was started then which has allowed us to have the support of institutions like Harvard University or the European Women’s Lobby. Among the diverse proves of support, the Director of the Office of Prevention of Sexual Assault of Harvard publicly declared “The efforts of CREA to establish the basis to break the silence on gender violence are inspiring. Future generations of students and faculty, without doubt, will have a very different experience due to their work”.

We also had the support of the Spanish Congress of Deputies that decided to include in the Law of Equality of 2007, for the first time, the obligation that all the Spanish universities had Unities of Equality (we advised the Commission in charge of the Law of Equality). Today, these unities and commissions of equality are a reality in many universities and we have the great satisfaction to having supported and continue to do so to all the victims in this context.

Support to CREA before all the attacks received to break the silence:

Recognition of CREA’s struggle against gender violence

Future generations of students and faculty will undoubtedly have a very different classroom experience because of their work.

It was my recent privilege to visit the University of Barcelona and talk with the faculty involved in CREA. I was struck by the fierce devotion these women have dedicated to eradicating sexual harassment and gender violence. As someone who has been working to improve policies and procedures related to these issues on college campuses for the last decade, I know how difficult and challenging this struggle can be. I feel fortunate that many of the federal laws mandating campuses to address gender violence in the U.S. were paved by vocal women and men before me. I have had the luxury of building on their accomplishments.

CREA’s efforts to lay this foundation by breaking the silence surrounding gender violence is inspiring. Future generations of students and faculty will undoubtedly have a very different classroom experience because of their work. I am particularly indebted to Lidia Puigvert who taught me a great deal in my short visit. She patiently explained CREA’s work – the challenges they face as well as their successes – and put a face to this issue by sharing stories about real lives being impacted by sexual harassment and violence. You need only spend a few minutes with Lidia to know how deeply passionate she is about improving the lives of women. She embodies all that makes me proud to be a feminist and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to meet her and to witness CREA’s rigorous work first hand.”

In 2004, an anonymous campaign with defamations about the members of CREA was started in different web sites. Anonymity allows to disseminating calumnies about the professional dedication and the private life of these people without any contestable proof presented and without any responsibility from their side. Without a minimum ethical standard about its use, anonymity in Internet offers the possibility of inventing and disseminating anything about any person in the world. In this case, the worst crimes are based on an anachronistic sexism of the times of Franco, a language that had been eradicated by feminist movement.

The university professors and other professionals who sign this declaration show their solidarity with the victims of this campaign. We commit ourselves to not support, disseminate nor give credibility to any of the anonymous attacks against the professional and personal life of anyone. We have a great respect for the University of Barcelona and its research centre CREA, but this commitment is not related to our agreement or disagreement with the work of CREA. We consider that the worst rivalries request an ethical limit and that the use of anonymous defamations in Internet, as a means of destroying groups or persons, is intolerable.

If anyone wants to express their support you can send an email to: crea@ub.edu with the subject: SOLIDARITY

If you did send us an email and in a couple of days you do not see your name in the list, please contact us.

Consult the list of persons who have provided their solidarity support.

Manifesto of Solidarity with Members of CREA before the anonymous online harassment.

It has finally come to light (thanks to some communication means) that there are very serious cases of sexual harassment in university.

Students have made a manifesto that they ask that all the members of the university community to sign. We give our support to the demands of this manifesto: http://goo.gl/2cAmmA

The moment has arrived to solve for good the concrete case, but also to change the university dynamics that have allowed the persistence of this problem in time by pursuing and defaming both the victims and the teachers that broke the silence.

Given the attacks of Mariano F. Enguita against young teachers who dared to break the silence regarding gender violence in universities, Ramón Flecha answers clarifying that: “Those of us who continuously read and discuss the main works of sociology we know that authoritarianism used in his statements hides the fact that he has no arguments in which to base them and discuss about them, that he has no theoretical level. Those of us who investigate the educational centres we know that there is no evidence that any of them has improved in overcoming school failure, improving sexism or racism as a consequence of some of the analysis of Enguita. Produce the thesis assertion. The leading thought of the essay is expressed within a phrase known as the thesis statement. You must minimize your entire essay for the subject one has introduced with your thesis assertion http://essaycapital.org/. Those of us who day after day work with people who are relevant at a worldly level in Sociology or Gender studies, we know that they don’t count on him and they do count on other persons”.

See full response: Clarification