Tuesday, 14 May 2019
A new campaign inviting commuters to take action when they witness acts of sexual harassment was on Tuesday morning unveiled in Brussels’ public transport network. The campaign’s aim is not only to put harassers on the spot, but also to raise awareness and encourage collective action by giving transport users concrete advice on how to act in such a situation.
Some of the advertisements on display recommend that victims of sexual assault scream to attract the attention of other passengers, while others recommend group interventions for users hesitant to speak out when they are by themselves.
Additionally, flyers with information for victims and witnesses of harassment will be distributed in the public transport network, and personnel will receive special training.
At the beginning of May, the Wallonia-Brussels parliament passed a draft resolution which would see the creation of a special committee to counter sexual violence and harassment against women in public spaces.
Over 60 percent of women in Belgium report having been subject to sexual harassment in public spaces according to international non-profit Plan International, who participated in the campaign.
Last year, a study by the University of Ghent found that 88 percent of women surveyed had already been subject to some form of sexual assault in the Belgian capital.
The Brussels Times