August 4, 2020

The Netherlands imposes the first fine for verbal sexual harassment on the street | Society



A 36-year-old Dutchman has been fined in Rotterdam for verbal harassment of a sexual nature. It is the first sanction of its kind in the Netherlands, which penalizes offensive whistles, insults, intimidation or profanity in the streets of the port city, and also in Amsterdam, by order of their municipalities. Directed especially towards women, gays, lesbians and transsexuals, the fine amounts to 200 euros. The man will not have to pay them as long as he does not relapse in the next two years. The judge has taken into account the personal problems of the subject and the fact that he is in debt.

"Hi girls. You are very pretty. What are you doing?". "Sky, are you leaving? Stay with me for a while. " "Beautiful, you are very attractive," said the sanctioned last summer, to two groups of women. First he followed them, and then sat next to him making gestures of throwing kisses with his hand. During the trial, he has said he is single and would like to have a girlfriend. That's why I was trying to start a conversation with strangers. "They were just compliments. I did not know it was a crime. I had no bad intention, "he said, in his defense.

Since Amsterdam Y Rotterdam In 2017, this type of street verbal harassment will be penalized. Eight complaints have reached the courts without consequences. On this occasion, the prosecution decided to exercise the accusation, "to warn that the municipal regulations are serious." The fines can amount to 4,100 euros or three months in prison, and complaints can be made in turn through an application for mobile phone, called StopApp. Before opting for fines, both Consistories opened an investigation to find out the frequency and degree of sexual intimidation registered.

The Erasmus University, Rotterdam, took care of his, and the experts interviewed 1,200 women between 18 and 45 years. While the conclusions stressed that "it is a gray area, because what for one person is harassment for another may be harmless, 94% said to have been the target of unwanted attempts to approach sexual dye." The detail of the responses reflected from whistles or compliments out of place, insults (such as 'zorra' or 'puta') comments on their appearance or direct requests for sex. In some cases, they cited touching and even assaults. In Amsterdam, the survey (of a sample of 1,000 women) indicated that 59% had suffered episodes of this nature. Between 15 and 34 years, "8 out of 10 claimed to have been the object of insinuations and offensive whistles, or received insults if they rejected the advances of strangers." In order not to violate the freedom of expression, it was decided to enact local regulations designed to penalize the alteration of public order and the inconvenience that this causes.

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