The Minister said the Government is implementing a “zero tolerance” strategy against gender based violence
Speaking after the controversial online influencer had his latest bid for freedom rejected by a Romanian court, Mr Harris said the rise of Mr Tate showed what can happen when states do not take responsibility for teaching young boys about sex education and gender equality.
The minister said Tate’s popularity among teenagers and young men is a “really serious issue” that needs to be tackled by governments.
“I think a lot of parents have now found out who Andrew Tate was and I think a number of parents are having conversations with teenage boys, with their children about Andrew Tate and these people have been following Andrew Tate,” Mr Harris said
“So I am really worried. I think it shows what happens when the State doesn't step up to its responsibilities. I don't just mean this State, I mean in general. We need to be much better at providing age appropriate information around sex education, around gender equality, and through the school curriculum,” he added.
On Tuesday, a court in Romania upheld the 30-day arrest of Mr Tate, who is a self-described misogynist, on charges of organised crime, human trafficking and rape.
Romanian authorities identified six victims in the trafficking case who were subjected to “acts of physical violence and mental coercion” and were sexually exploited by the members of the alleged crime group.
They said the victims were lured by pretences of love and later intimidated, kept under surveillance and subjected to other control tactics while being coerced into performing pornographic acts that were intended to make money for the alleged persecutors.
Speaking at an event on the Grangegorman campus of TU Dublin, Mr Harris said the Government is implementing a “zero tolerance” strategy against gender based violence.
The minister said he expects a new agency to tackle gender based violence to be introduced in January next year.
He is also introducing a number of pieces of legislation over the coming months which will tackle the issues surrounding violence towards women.
This will include doubling the maximum sentence for assault causing serious harm from five to 10 years.