More than 9 in 10 women victims of harassment in past year
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    More than 9 in 10 women victims of harassment in past year

    © Belga
    The thesis, produced in 2017, is based upon a sample of 2,400 women from the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, aged between 15 and 64. It echoes a number of concerns within Belgium and abroad.
    © Belga

    More than 9 in 10 women, aged under 35, indicate having been subjected to harassment in the street, during the course of the last 12 months. This emerges from the thesis by Léa Gosselin, a student of criminology at l’ULg (University of Liège). This was reported by La Dernière Heure (DH) on Tuesday. DH further flags up that nearly a fifth of respondents (17%), aged between 15 and 24, said they experienced harassment in the street once a day.

    This thesis, produced in 2017, is based upon a sample of 2,400 women from the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, aged between 15 and 64. Amongst this sample group, only 12 women stated that they had never been victims of this phenomenon. Léa Gosselin stated this when contacted by Belga. Three women said that they had been raped, one of whom had not made a formal complaint. The victim told the student researcher that this is “because complaining serves no purpose.”

    More than half (56%) of respondents spoke of having been followed over the course of 12 months, and 85%, almost all of those surveyed between 15 to 64, were subject to an attempt at conversation in a public place. Moreover half of women spoke of being kissed.

    Moreover it did not end there, since 76% of 455 women aged 15 to 24 questioned answered “yes” to the question asking if men had rubbed against them in a public place during this period, as well as 43% of women aged 25 to 34. A form of “forced contact” was experienced by 42% of the entire sample.

    The study author comments, “The phenomenon is complicated, as it ranges from verbal aggression to sexual assault, even rape.” She goes on, “My work confirms the previous conclusions of the French Institute for Gender Equality. It had found that every women is likely to be a victim of harassment in the street or in a public place during her lifetime. This shows that the phenomenon is not specific to a given country.”

    Léa Gosselin produced her work during a work placement with the PS deputy, Christie Morreale, who moreover will question the Minister for Gender Equality about this subject on November 14th.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times