Arnhem determined to end street harassment

Mayor of Arnhem Ahmed Marcouch gave a guest lecture at ArtEZ University of the Arts in relation to the Orange the World campaign. Marcouch discussed the topic of sexual intimidation on the streets and encouraged women to report such behaviour.

Mayor Marcouch stated on social media: “Next to sexual assault, I find that one of the sneakiest and meanest misdeeds; girls silently and worryingly hide behind thick coats, long pants and even the safe front door. At home – the horror when the danger lies precisely at home, but on the street I do not accept it either.”

A local prohibition on sexual harassment on the streets is said to soon be implemented in Arnhem. There is currently no national legislation that criminalizes such behavior. Marcouch explained that a law by itself is not insufficient and stressed on the importance of reporting such actions.

“Not waiting for the state law; report it, then we will include the dangerous places in the enforcement route,” mayor Marcouch explained.

Arnhem is one of numerous Dutch cities taking part in the Orange the World Initiative. Since 2008, the United Nations’ campaign has called for worldwide action to raise awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations. As a bright and optimistic color, orange is supposed to symbolize a future from violence and discrimination.

The City Hall, the County Hall, windmill De Kroon, library Rozet, Focus film theater, hotel Haarhuis, Musis, the letters of the GelreDome, the John Frost Bridge, ROC Rijn IJssel, the fountains on the Market, as well as numerous bridges and other locations will be lit orange until December 10.

One out of every three women in the world is a victim of violence. According to the National Institute on gender equality and women’s history, 45 percent of women and girls in the Netherlands are affected. The United Nations has designated November 25 as the International Day against Violence Against Women in order to bring attention to this issue. The annual 16-day worldwide action campaign against violence against women kicks off on this day. 

Arnhem was also the Dutch host city of the campaign in 2020, while the central place this year has been given to Breda.


Photo credit: Instagram/ahmedmarcouch