The number of reports of sexual harassment at Dutch universities has almost doubled in two years’ time, according to figures requested by One today.
In 2016, sexual harassment was reported 52 times, 72 in 2017 and 101 in 2018. Most reports (22) in 2018 were made at the University of Amsterdam.
One today bases the ruling on figures from ten of the fourteen national universities. The Open University and the universities of Delft, Tilburg and Nijmegen did not provide any figures on sexual harassment.
Reports of sexual harassment vary from sexually motivated comments to sexual assault. The majority of the reports, about 60 percent, were made by students.
The chairman of the National Student Union reacts in the opposite direction One today shocked at the numbers. “It is outrageous that we are unable to provide a safe learning and working environment in education. These figures again underline the importance of spending more money on social safety in higher education.”
The number of reports of undesirable behavior is also increasing
One today also did research into undesirable behavior. All fourteen universities participated in this. Undesirable behavior includes reports of aggression, bullying, intimidation and discrimination. In 2017 537 reports of undesirable behavior were made, in 2018 this number had increased to 706 reports.
According to Lidewij Poorthuis of the National Network of Female Professors, little happens with those reports, including those with sexual harassment. “Many women who report to the counselor are told:” Let it go. It’s your word against his. ” Then nothing happens “, says Poorthuis One today.
The Association of Universities says that in recent years they have done their best to guarantee social safety. “Workshops, training sessions and debates are being organized. Information is being provided. All of this with the aim of making the problem open to discussion and tackling it,” said Bart Pierik of the Association of Universities.