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#MeToo Swiss city fights sexual harassment with humour

A number of associations have been fighting sexual harassment for years, but now Swiss cities are also getting involved in the campaign to stamp it out. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

The city of Lausanne commissioned a survey among women aged 16-35, which established that 72% of them had been harassed over the past year. Of these, 88% were whistled at, 63% were insulted, 42% were followed and 32% were fondled. The survey found that 77% of harassment takes place in the night, 46% in parks, 18% in bars, restaurants and discos, and 11% at railway stations.

You must be kidding

Using humour as a way to address perpetrators and their victims, the city produced a video starring local comedian, Yann Marguetexternal link, and set in a virtual museum. In the video, a bearded Mona Lisa puckers up at passers-by.

Other cities are also doing their bit to address the menace. In Zurich, the police have launched a campaignexternal link with billboards and a “Live experience projector” at large events in the city. In Bern, the cantonal policeexternal link have identified sexual harassment as a key problem to address over the next two years, starting with a stand at the BEA agricultural show, where visitors can don virtual reality glasses and find out how it feels to be harassed.

No-go areas

In Fribourg, Natasha Stegmann set up the association Mille Sept Sansexternal link, which gives tips on what to do if harassed. She says there are places in the city centre that have become no-go areas for women because of the level of harassment. The association existed long before the #MeToo movement began, sparked by allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct.

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