One in three council members threatened

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In the last year, one in three council members has suffered verbal or physical abuse for their function.  Nieuwsuur, in a report, revealed on Thursday that some council members have only experienced violence once, other admit to more incidents in the last year. The report found out that half of council members found themselves at the other end of verbal abuse, like cursing, screaming and humiliation. Ten percent of the threatened council members even considered stepping down from their roles, because of the threats. In the country, hundreds of members are involved. The investigation questioned 2000 of the 10,000 council members in the Netherlands. Answers differed per municipality, so there is no statistic of in which municipality most council members received threats. Council member from Eindhoven, Tom van den Nieuwenhuijzen, was threatened in September last year because of his sexual orientation, Omroep Brabant reports. He found a letter in his mailbox with the words "Dirty homo, — leave with your sickness and your Roze Zaterdag." Roze Zaterdag (Pink Saturday) is an annual day with the theme of homosexuality. It is held in a different city every year. This year, it will be held in Eindhoven. Van den Nieuwenhuijzen is one of the event's initiators.

Another member from the same city Ibrahim Wijbenga (CDA) was threatened in December because he disapproved of jihad trips to Syria. More recently, alderman from Bernheze, Rien Wijdeven, was threatened on Tuesday the 11th of February over a caravan parking spot. A 47-year old resident from Nistelrode was picked up by police after a discussion he and his daughter had with Wijdeven went too far. The man became emotional and shouted at Wijdeven, Omroep Brabant reports. The alderman needed protection around his house after the incident.

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