Over 1,000 demonstrators march in Brussels following sexual assault allegations

Over 1,000 demonstrators march in Brussels following sexual assault allegations
Photo of the first march from Monica Frassoni on Facebook

Around 1,300 people gathered in Ixelles on Thursday night to march against sexual violence, according to reporting from Bruzz.

The march was organised after two women shared accounts of being allegedly drugged and assaulted in a neighbourhood bar called Waff.

Police have since launched an investigation into those claims, which were shared on social media.

Waff reacted to the allegations by suspending the bartender, but reports circulated on social media that the bartender had actually just been transferred to El Café, another bar in the same area.

Translation: Warning for all of Brussels, especially the girls! Avoid going to the Waff and El Café (Ixelles), the waiter at the Waff drugged and raped two girls on Thursday. After they filed a complaint, the owner transferred him to El Café. The waiter already has 17 complaints to his name.

There have been calls on social media for a boycott of both bars, and Bruzz reports that in recent days, a dozen women have testified on social media with similar stories in the same bars.

On Thursday night, Waff and El Café kept their doors closed, with the managers saying this was done “to protect the staff and customers” during the march against acts of sexual violence like the sort purportedly committed by a member of their staff.

The managers of the bars said they “support the victims, but it is unacceptable for our waiters and customers to be insulted and harassed.”

Both Waff and El Café posted statements to social media regarding the allegations, but turned off commenting so that no one could reply.

Young women made up the majority of the people participating in the march, in which they shouted, “Rapist, it’s your turn to be afraid,” while they headed for Place Fernand Cocq.

There they met with Mayor Christos Doulkeridis (Ecolo), who promised to make the nightlife areas more women-friendly.

The march was authorised by law enforcement.

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