Over 50 victims testify that man sexually harassed them in Ixelles

Over 50 victims testify that man sexually harassed them in Ixelles
Place Flagey. Credit: Belga/ Nicolas Maeterlinck

Brussels police have launched an investigation after several young women have come forward to testify that a man in Ixelles has sexually harassed them on the street by forcing them to kiss him.

The victims' testimonies follow a similar pattern, with a man stopping them on the streets of Ixelles at night. "He first told me he was Brazilian, that it was his last day in Brussels, and then offered to play a game, as a way of saying goodbye," a victim told La Dernière Heure, who added that the man followed her to her front door.

"He wanted to play rock-paper-scissors and told me I'd get a prize for losing. When I lost, he wanted a kiss. I said I wasn't comfortable with that question. But then he forced me to kiss him. I felt trapped."

Two days after the incident, the woman found an Instagram account with a similar story in which a man followed a different young woman to her home, kissed her violently and tried to enter her house. He luckily didn't manage to get in.

Same pattern

Instagram account Collages Feministes Bruxelles warns of an aggressor in Ixelles who would tell victims in English that he was Brazilian, that he had either just arrived in Brussels and didn't know many people or that he was just about to leave the city.

"We received a testimony from a girl who was talking about a situation that happened to her two friends," an administrator of the account told La Dernière Heure. "And then, it was a wave." The administrator added that they have received 50 to 100 testimonies of the same nature.

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"There are testimonies of facts that happened six years ago, others date from yesterday... Lately, he has been active at the cemetery of Ixelles, on Place Flagey and around the ULB campus on Boulevard de la Plaine."

Brussels police has asked victims to come forward and file a complaint. Authorities will "take the testimonies very seriously" Ixelles Mayor Christos Doulkeridis (Ecolo) said in Le Soir.

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