Rotterdam more actively fighting sexual harassment than Amsterdam: report

Tourists at the I Amsterdam sign behind the Rijksmuseum
Tourists at the I Amsterdam sign behind the RijksmuseumPhoto: Mariordo / Wikimedia Commons

Two years ago Amsterdam adopted a proposal which made sexual harassment on the street a punishable offense, but since then the municipality has done little to address the problem. Rotterdam, where this is also punishable, has made much more progress, AT5 reports.

In Rotterdam an app called STOPapp was created with which sexual harassment on the street can be reported to enforces. Those caught harassing others are fined 190 euros. "It is important that we are responding to it", Leefbaar Rotterdam chairman Joost Eerdmans said to the Amsterdam broadcaster. "And that a conversation is started in which it becomes clear that it is not funny to say to a woman: hey whore are you coming with me? That is punishable!"

The Public Prosecutor has never imposed a fine for sexual harassment on the street anywhere in the Netherlands, but in Rotterdam they are regularly written out. This hasn't happened once in Amsterdam, according to the broadcaster.

Marianne Poot of the Amsterdam VVD plans to change this, she said to AT5. "Every year research is done about this and it appears than more than half to 70 percent of women suffer from this."