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Parliament’s lower chamber passes street harassment law

Parliament’s lower chamber passes street harassment law

The Chamber of Deputies (Romanian Parliament’s lower chamber) has passed on Tuesday a draft law saying that sexual and psychological harassment will be banned in public and private spaces. The bill comes to complete the law on the equality of chances between men and women.

Independent deputy Oana Bîzgan, who initiated the bill, has argued that the public harassment is affecting a growing number of women and girls in Romania. More precisely, eight in ten Romanian women say they don’t feel safe when walking on the street at night, while four in ten say are not safe during the day either. Moreover, seven in ten Romanian women don’t expect any other person to jump into their defence when they are harassed on the street.

I hope this law will change these things once it is enforced. Day by day, women in Romania are assaulted and humiliated by harassment, including across schools, universities, at work, on the street, in public transportation means and in public institutions. Most of the times, aggressors don’t limit themselves to verbal abuses or gestures. Harassment that is not sanctioned leads to forms of serious violence, and this cannot be tolerated anymore,” the initiator said.

According to the draft law, all types of harassment will be banned and sanctioned, but any contravention stipulated in the draft will not remove the criminal responsibility against aggressors.

The law is to be enforced by Police agents, officers, but also by the Local Police.

The draft was signed by 75 MPs from all the parties represented in Parliament, either coming from the ruling parties or from the opposition.

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