Serbian rape charges spur cross-region #MeToo-like response

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — A #MeToo-like movement is sweeping the strongly patriarchal Western Balkans and activists hope there will be no turning back. It started with a chilling account of alleged rape and abuse at a high-end acting school in Serbia. This prompted thousands of women in neighboring countries to speak up — bridging bitter ethnic divisions dating from the wars that broke up Yugoslavia in the 1990s. And in a part of Europe where male dominance is part of a centuries-old tradition and where women rarely seek justice for sexual harassment, this is seen as a giant step forward. Sanja Pavlovic, from the Belgrade-based Autonomous Women’s Center group, says that “silence has been broken.”