A WEAPON AGAINST STREET HARASSMENT FOR WOMEN IN ROTTERDAM

A WEAPON AGAINST STREET HARASSMENT FOR WOMEN IN ROTTERDAM

CLIENT The Municipal Executive Committee of Rotterdam

Partner Vuurrood

AWARD & NOMINATION Sabre Award, European Excellence Award

Street harassment is a major social issue. The city of Rotterdam will no longer turn a blind eye to this situation and asked Bijl PR and Vuurrood to come up with a communication concept and a strategy to attack street harassment. To make women feel safe again. We developed a campaign aimed at a change in behaviour of both victims and perpetrators:

1. We empower women by providing a safe way to report sexual harassment on the street. Women no longer have to accept rude and insulting street talk.

2. We confront men about their unacceptable behaviour.

STRATEGY AND APPROACH

An Erasmus University Rotterdam study showed that 84% of women have to deal with hissing, catcalling and verbal abuse, and are forced to adjust their behaviour accordingly: take a different way home, put on different clothes, dress differently, pretend they’re on the phone. Up till now, only 5% of women ever reported street harassment to the police, afraid of the perpetrators reaction. This campaign wants to convince men to be gentlemen, to treat women with respect, to treat them like people.

The title of the campaign, ‘Pikpraat’ (‘Prick Talk’), suits the city of Rotterdam perfectly. It’s direct, it’s in your face and it’s a little rough around the edges. One aspect of the campaign is the ‘StopApp’: an app that women can use to report harassment anonymously, safe and easy. The reports are sent to the city council of Rotterdam as well.

With this campaign, we wanted to generate attention for street harassment in Rotterdam. And that is what we did. The campaign gained a lot of traction, and everyone was talking about it, from the Dutch press to the city of Rotterdam itself. Together with Bijl PR and Vuurrood we were successful in offering women a tangible action perspective and make them feel safer on the street.

Frank Vermeulen,
Then senior advisor Communication and Participation board of Safety


We kicked off the campaign with a press event at Rotterdam city hall, with virtually all national media present. We then rolled out several tools to generate more attention for Stop Pikpraat: the website
www.stoppikpraat.nl, billboards around the city and online and social advertising, as well as making use of local influencers. Special flyer and code enforcement teams are opening up a dialogue with both victims and perpetrators.

EVERYONE DESERVES A SAFE STREET

This Rotterdam-made project aimed at empowering women and giving them a voice, has now gained traction in other municipalities as well. Amsterdam, too, now uses the term ‘Pikpraat’ for unacceptable and rude behaviour. Rotterdam has now launched the ‘Everyone deserves a safe street’ campaign, with a focus on the LGBT community.

RESULTS

women downloaded the StopApp

6,500

reports of ‘Pikpraat’ (‘Prick Talk’)

3,500

Media reach

25 million

We were shocked to see this behaviour being treated as more or less ‘accepted’. For me, that meant an added personal drive to make this campaign succeed. It was great to create and develop this campaign and be there from the start, and then get such amazing results. My female friends are all familiar with the StopApp as well, and it really provides them with a sense of security.

Sophia Weavers
Sophia Weavers
Consultant