A few weeks ago, third year Psychology student, Aslınur Kavuncu (20) from Turkey, noticed a group of guys were recording her and her friends at the beach in Scheveningen, while they were just trying to tan. “My friends told me that some guys were watching us for a while, and then I looked up and saw their cellphones were fully pointed at us”, she said.  “They had no shame. They sat right in front of us and kept on looking and checking us out.”

At a beach party organised by Erasmus Night Out (ENO), Haya Alia (19), a Palestinian second year Psychology student, recalls a moment when she briefly left the party and someone on the beach yelled at her.  “He had a kid with him and he approached us, I just smiled out of common courtesy”, she said. “Next thing I know he was asking me to take my clothes off. My friends and I immediately went back to the party.”

Caroline Décamps (20): “The last time I was at the beach here I couldn’t even relax in peace. Even if the men don’t particularly do or say anything, it’s the looks they give, the long stares.”  The Brazilian second year Communications and Media student adds: “Sometimes I feel like I get harassed here more in Rotterdam than in Brazil.”


“There’s nothing much to do in these situations because there’s also the aspect of danger”, said Aslınur. Sometimes she deals with harassments like these by changing her attitude: “I always get very self-conscious with my behaviour and try to act tougher, I get this tough expression on my face and I act a little less feminine.”

Harassment happened to all three students very often, also away from the beach. “Multiple times my friends and I been harassed in the streets”, said Caroline. According to Aslınur, it’s daily reality for women. “Unfortunately these things happen very often and it’s something that is normalised.” Haya: “There were instances where we got harassed to the point where we almost got beaten up. Some guys at a party shouted at me to cover up and attacked my friends physically.” She added: “Many instances like these have made me very paranoid of living here.”

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