The Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities, Elke Sleurs, launched today (Wednesday), as Valentine’s Day approaches, her campaign #100parjour (#100perday). This is aimed at both increasing exposure of the issue and securing more convictions for sexual violence.
The photographer, Frieke Janssens, has chosen a broken rose as the campaign’s visual for the advertising agency Absoluut.
There will be a video advert disseminated between February 8th to February 14th in cinemas, and for a longer period on social media. On Valentine’s Day, it will be broadcast upon Channel 1, Channel 2 and Eén (the Dutch language TV channel), with further messages published in Metro.
The campaign’s budget amounts to 136,000 euros. It aims to fight against the stereotypes inducing a sense of guilt amongst victims, and to encourage them to complain. It also invites women to share their hurt via the hashtag #100parjour.
Elke Sleurs says that more than 2,900 complaints of rape were made in Belgium in 2015, or an average of eight rapes per day. Considering that only 10% actually complain of being raped, she estimates that around 100 women, men and children must therefore be raped per day.
She adds that in 90% of cases of student rape, the victim knows her attacker.
Sleurs laments, “The adoption of a negative attitude regarding victims of rape increases as the latter moves away from the genuine victim stereotype.”
She goes on, “This ‘genuine victim’ is a woman who is neither intoxicated by alchohol nor has taken drugs. She is suddenly and volently attacked by an unknown individual in an isolated location. The woman has clearly visible physical injuries and complains immediately to the police, supplying undeniable proof of her active resistance.”
To increase collaboration between all participants and favouring evidence gathering through better victim care, Elke Sleurs has committed to opening three multi-disciplinary care centres in 2017. These are at the University of Liège, the University of Ghent and the Hôpital Saint-Pierre hospital in Brussels.
The first is expected to open in Flanders shortly before the summer.
These centres will offer medical, psychological, legal and police front-line help, as well as appropriate supervision. Following this pilot phase, each province could have such a centre of excellence in this sphere.