On January 23, 2022, El Periódico featured on its front page 25 women who launched the MeToo University, which has already reached global dimensions. An excellent report by three extraordinary journalists dedicated 8 pages to bring to light the gender violence and isolating gender violence (which are the attacks on those of us who defend the direct victims) that we have suffered in Spanish universities. One of the most erroneous prejudices on this subject is that it is left-wing, non-believing (agnostic and atheist) women who consider themselves feminists who oppose sexual harassment and support the victims, while the rest of us do not.

Several of the aforementioned 25 women are Catholic, some are of other religions, others are agnostic and atheist and, of course, we have different political options. But that’s not just among the 25 of us, there is also that same diversity in society as a whole and in all the MeToo movements in other countries around the world. International scientific research shows very clearly, among others, two results. The first is that, in every case of sexual abuse, both among those on the victim’s side and those on the harasser’s side, there is total ideological and belief diversity. The second is that attempts to deny this reality seriously harm the victims and are totally contrary to the scientific evidence on this subject.

I have been working for years in international scientific research in the field of overcoming sexual abuse and harassment. There are self-considered feminist women who attack victims and their supporters, who do ‘isolating gender violence’. And there are Catholic women who, inspired by Gospel values, from very diverse realities are dedicating their lives to listen to and care for victims, to do justice, to repair the damage caused and to safeguard girls and women, and they do not respond at all to the prejudice I commented on earlier. The profound coherence of these women between what they say they stand for and what they do brings us closer to that world free of violence that most of society, in all our diversity, dreams of. I feel very grateful to these women.

The evidence tells us that we are very diverse people in all who protect direct victims, it has been that way throughout history, and that the problem of sexual abuse is not just the Church’s problem. MeToo University is an example of both.

[Image by Mihai Surdu from Pixabay]

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Associate Professor in UB. Double PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Carries out scientific investigation in the field of social neuroscience with the aim of overcoming violence in human relationships. She is a member of the Jordan project (UNIJES) focused on abuse in the Church, and is coordinating a project on the prevention of violence against women in 6 Fe y Alegría schools in Nicaragua.
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