German culture minister Monika Grütters. Photo: Olaf Kosinsky / Wikimedia.

Germany to Set Up Help Desk for Sexual Harassment Victims Who Work in the Arts

German culture minister Monika Grütters has revealed that her office is working to establish a help desk for victims of sexual abuse who work in the cultural sector. According to Catherine Hickley of the Art Newspaper, the announcement was made after several high-profile German cultural figures were accused of sexual harassment, including director Dieter Wedel, and in solidarity with the worldwide #MeToo campaign.

“Those affected need a protected space where they can speak openly and seek advice anonymously, without needing to worry about negative consequences,” Grütters said. “An initiative like this shouldn’t fail because of a lack of funds.” The culture minister made the announcement days before the Berlin Film Festival kicks off. Opening on February 15, the event will address the treatment of women in the film industry. The festival will host a number of panels and forums that will discuss the #TimesUp movement and is implementing a new “safe space policy” aimed at eliminating harassment and discrimination.