Groningen’s night mayor Merlijn Poolman and local political parties 100% Groningen and Student en Stad want the city’s nightlife to make a concerted effort to prevent sexual harassment.
Translation by Traci White
Groningen’s city centre is synonymous with partying until the wee hours, but Dagblad van het Noorden reports that many young women in particular also associate hitting the town with being sexually harassed.
A local survey in 2017 found that one in 10 Groningen students, both male and female, reported being sexually harassed while going out in town. The Groningen survey also found that the majority of people who regularly participate in the city’s nightlife consider unwanted touching or comments as simply a normal part of the experience.
100% Groningen wants every bar in the city to post signs about the do’s and don’ts of behaviour while out on the town. Oelinda de Vries, a member of Student en Stad, was motivated to set up the campaign due to her own experience with sexual harassment in Groningen’s nightlife scene.
In a local effort to turn the tide and change perceptions about harassment being normal, Groningen’s night mayor Merlijn Poolman has campaigned for the creation of a “night city hall” for bar and club patrons, a safe place for people to report to if they are in trouble or need help. Marten Duit of Student en Stad told the Dagblad that it would be ideal to have public health service provider and STI testing facility GGD on hand at a night city hall.
Photo source: Wikipedia