Rotterdam is following Amsterdam with amending its bylaws to make it an offence to hiss at or intimidate women on the street.
The decision means people who follow women asking for sex, shout at them or call them names face a fine up to €4,100, broadcaster NOS reported.
Intimidation is a major problem and ‘everyone should feel safe and be able to walk along the street unhindered,’ alderman Joost Eerdmans told the broadcaster.
Research by the city last year found that 84% of women between the age of 18 and 45 had been intimidated while out walking. Many said they had changed their behaviour and avoided certain areas at night.
‘It is unacceptable if women feel so limited in their freedom that they change their clothes or avoid parts of the city,’ Eerdmans said.
Street wardens will now keep a better watch in problem areas and people caught harassing women will be given a formal warning, the broadcaster said. Fines will be issued from next year.
Amsterdam has not yet fully implemented its new bylaws but aims to do so this summer, NOS said. The Hague is also considering such a move.
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