A new campaign against sexual misconduct – called 'WE ZIEN U' ('We see you') – is officially being launched today and tomorrow as Flanders seeks to highlight the issue in the major Flemish cities and Brussels.
Two-thirds of Belgians (64%) aged between 16 and 69 have experienced some form of sexual victimisation. This applies to both girls and women (about 80%), and boys and men (about 50%).
The same survey indicates that although all ages are affected, it is most common among young people (16 to 24 years old). Whether it's catcalling, aggression, revenge porn, sexual assault, harassment or rape: sexual misconduct is never permissible and every victim is one too many, said Flemish Justice Minister Zuhal Demir.
"Sexual misconduct is everyone's problem. The figures speak for themselves and it can happen to your child too, but your child can also be guilty."
Demir stressed that while the fight against inappropriate behaviour starts with the younger generation, this is also the most vulnerable group. "I want to wake up young people and make them aware of what is and is not acceptable."
Demir aims to motivate young people to collectively oppose sexual misconduct. "With 'WE SEE YOU', the campaign slogan gives a clear signal with a dual message: empathy towards victims and decisiveness towards perpetrators."
In several places in Flanders, bright luminous graffiti tags already popped up this week to literally draw attention to sexual misconduct through projections in six cities, including on Brussels' Flagey square on the Flagey building.
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Well-known Flemish psychologist and sex therapist Lotte Vanwezemael is helping to highlight the campaign. "Sexual misconduct takes many forms, and every form is one too many. Therefore, I am giving my support to every victim. You, me, us. We see each other."
The campaign will run until April 2024 and aims to reach young people en masse and through various (mainly online) channels, with real stories and well-known influencers. During the summer months, a van will tour Flanders and Brussels to record an online video series featuring young people's stories about sexuality.
Are you a victim of sexual violence? Visit a Care Centre after Sexual Violence near you as soon as possible or call or chat anonymously with 1712 for free. Are you a minor? Chat anonymously at nupraatikerover.be.