Tuesday 14 July 2020

Rotterdam launches app to tackle sexual harassment in public

Photo: Ifeelstock via Depositphotos.com

Rotterdam has launched an app allowing victims of sexual harassment to report incidents anonymously.

The app is designed for incidents that do not require an emergency response, but includes an option to dial 112 if the situation escalates.

Rotterdam has included anti-harassment clauses in its latest APV regulations, which will apply from January 1. After April 1 wardens will be able to issue fines of up to €4,100 to anyone caught behaving in an intimidating manner in public.

‘Eighty-four per cent of women experience sexual harassment,’ said Joost Eerdmans, Rotterdam’s alderman responsible for security. ‘That doesn’t mean staring or cat-calling, but serious intimidation that makes women feel so uncomfortable that they avoid certain locations.’

Undercover agents will patrol areas where harassment is frequently reported to try to catch abusers in the act, Eerdmans told NOS. ‘All people have to do is give their location and a comment if they wish. That will be communicated to our enforcement team and if there are more incidents in the same place, we will take action.’

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