Brussels police officers have enlisted a feminist non-profit to train officers to handle instances of street harassment and violence against women.
At least two police zones in Brussels have so far scheduled training sessions with the organisation Touche Pas a Ma Pote (TPAMP, Don’t Touch My Friend).
The organisation, which last year launched an application to encourage more women to report instances of sexual harassment, has already held a training session with the Brussels-Ixelles police zone in June.
The Brussels-North police zone is set to be the next of the capital’s six police zones to attend a one-day training session by the non-profit, Bruzz reports.
The training sessions will focus on raising awareness among officers about street harassment and gender-based violence.
A central objective of the training will be to close a gap between the existence of laws and regulations against street harassment and the effective enforcement of them by officers on duty.
By better training officers on how to handle complaints that come in, the police zones also hope to encourage more victims to take any potential incident to authorities.
“Victims are often reluctant to file a complaint,” Brussels North police chief Frédéric Dauphin said.
“On the other hand, it’s difficult for police officers to correctly identify such incidents and thus to be able to meet the expectations of victims,” he added. “This is especially the case when acts of intimidation do not translate into physical violence.”