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Fuse staff ignored possible sexual assault as it happened, say club-goers
Following the report of a possible rape of one of its customers and in the wake of the sexual assault claims levied against Brussels bars this autumn in general, Fuse nightclub will work to combat the phenomenon on its premises, it has said.
One of Brussels most popular nightlife spots, the dance club has promised additional security after witnesses reported a disturbing incident that took place last weekend. Women have been reporting their experiences being sexually harassed and assaulted in Brussels bars and clubs on the Instagram page balance_ton_bar.
“In the downstairs women’s toilet, we noticed that one of the stalls doors had been closed for a long time, and we could see four feet under the door,” wrote a woman about Fuse on the page. “When we knocked on the door, only a man’s voice responded. We asked for the girl to respond, but she didn’t.”
‘Her own fault’
The women alerted the toilet attendant, who told them it was the girl’s own fault if she had let a man in the stall with her and that they should leave. “A few hours later,” wrote the witness, “we came across a girl who was not well at all. She said that she could no longer feel her body, which was a sign she had been drugged with GHB.”
GHB is a psychoactive drug well known for being used to drug and rape girls and women. At Fuse, the group of friends called for security, again being yelled at by the toilet attendant. When security arrived, they were “hyper aggressive,” according to the testimony and brushed off the situation, saying “we never see who it is who does it”.
The women had to ask several times for water to give the girl. “They brought a nearly empty bottle, joking that it hadn’t been drugged.”
The testimony was followed by many comments about similar experiences at Fuse and how the staff did not respond appropriately in those cases either. “Closing your eyes and being aggressive towards a person in need is intolerable,” wrote the witness on Instagram. “Fuse’s attitude makes them complicit in a phenomenon they are supposed to be trying to help stop.”
Fuse promises to do better. The club responded, saying that their team already receives training in combating sexual assault and that they have a black list at the door with photos of people who are no longer welcome in the club.
“We take this problem very seriously,” said the club in a response on Instagram. “The attitude of our personnel that was described is unacceptable. We assure you that we will be discussing this with them.”
Fuse further told VRT that they would meet with the women who testified on Instagram. “We will also reinforce our security with a team solely focused on sexual harassment,” Fuse said. “This way we can throw these people out of the club.”
Photo top ©Karmakolle/Wikipedia
UPDATE 04 NOVEMBER: Fuse has announced that it has fired the staff members who responded inappropriately to a possible rape on its property