Brussels to introduce fines for sexual intimidation

30th July 2012, Comments 2 comments

The city of Brussels is to introduce fines for sexual intimidation from September, while Interior Minister Joëlle Milquet is preparing legislation to tackle the problem.

The measures come after a documentary composed by the young film maker Sofie Peeters, which shows how the young woman is constantly being harassed by male chauvinists in the streets of Brussels.

The documentary was shown in the VRT's current affairs programme Terzake on Thursday. Sofie Peeters is walking around in Brussels, but is being stopped by young men on various occasions. They ask for her telephone number, and when she refuses to give it, they get angry shouting things like "whore" or "tart".

Sofie Peeters collected the footage by using a hidden camera. She got the idea when she was being confronted with male chauvinism in Brussels. Young men are constantly intimidating her. The documentary did not miss its aim: Interior Minister Milquet was quite impressed and promised action.

New legislation will be introduced to outline in which cases we are talking about sexual intimidation. This should make it easier for victims to go to the police.

The city of Brussels is also taking measures, with fines of up to 250 euros being introduced as from September. The aim is to get a real change of mentality, but critics doubt whether fines are the right instrument to tackle the problem.


[ / Expatica]

2 Comments To This Article

  • rezavyoral posted:

    on 10th August 2012, 18:59:30 - Reply

    I visited Brussels 20 years ago and found it to be a lovely, safe and civilised city. Last year, I organised my company's annual business-planning conference in Brussels. After day of hard work, we all dressed up to go out and celebrate. The females in our party were hassled from the moment we left the hotel for the entire night. The perpetrators were often rude, aggressive, insulting and in every case they appeared to be of a Middle-Eastern or North-African background. I NEVER wish to return to Brussels. I am ethnic-Iranian and have a Muslim family background and I should stress that not everyone from the Middle East is so ignorant or sexist. However, many are and Europeans must understand that you cannot allow people from culturally sexist and ignorant societies behave in this way in your countries. Don't be culturally sensitive - these people don't understand nor 'respect' cultural sensitivity. Be firm, confident and assertive. Fining them would be a start, but at the end of the day, you must also question why they are in your countries and what contribution they could possibly make. And choose your immigrants a little more wisely!
  • pacific_waters posted:

    on 10th August 2012, 14:26:56 - Reply

    You forgot to mention WHO the male chauvinists ARE. Of course doing so would be construed as being islamophobic.