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Hidden cameras show people’s reactions to sexual intimidation
Brussels minister for equal opportunities, Bianca Debaets, has launched the campaign 0% Sexism to draw attention to sexual intimidation in the capital. The campaign consists of posters, a website, a social media campaign and – most striking – videos showing how bystanders react to harrasment of women in public places.
The first video released shows one man nearly getting into a fight with a group of others because they are bothering a woman at North Station. They had to tell him they were all actors to get him to calm down.
The videos, spokesperson Eric Laureys told Bruzz, “show that people do react, and sometimes those reactions come from a suprising corner. From old women to young men, people intervene.” There will eventually be seven campaign videos released via social media.
Belgium passed a law against street harassment in 2014. The law makes it illegal to insult a person based on gender or to make intimidating sexual remarks.
Although women are using the app Touche Pas À Ma Pote (Hands Off My Friend), also developed by Debaets’ office, to report instances of harassment in public places, only one woman – a police officer – has ever pursued a court case. Not only do women not usually know the men in question, incidents are hard to prove.
“The anti-sexism law has not been a great success, and the problem still exists,” says Laureys. “We want to use the campaign to encourage people to intervene when necessary.”