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450 people join “Nightlife Blackout” protest in Brussels

Around 450 people took part in a demonstration on the Albertinaplein in Central Brussels on Friday evening. The protest was part of “Nightlife Blackout”, a boycott of the Brussels hospitality industry. The Brussels “Nightlife Blackout” follows similar protests in the UK. Like their counterparts across the Channel those taking part in Friday evening’s protest in Brussels want women to be able to enjoy an evening out without becoming the victim of sexual harassment or worse. 

In recent weeks there have been several well-publicised reports of women suffering sexual abuse during evenings out in the capital’s cafés and bars. In one case a barman that worked at two cafés frequented by students in the municipality of Elsene allegedly drugged young women’s drinks before raping them.

One of those at Friday evening’s protest Anesa Djelili told VRT News that “I am here above all to support women that don’t have a voice. A lot of things are considered normal in our society, whereby a man can assume a certain role and think that he can make comments (about a women’s appearance) and in the worst cases touch someone up”.

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