Stop sexual harassment in the European Parliament! #metooEU

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There are sexual assaults on a regular basis in the European Parliament. Sexism and sexualized violence take place throughout our society. It's always about power. Men who have political influence - and those who believe they do - use their position to make sexist comments or harass women without being punished. 

In reaction to the #metoo-campaign, several female colleagues have expressed their own experiences of being groped, followed or harassed by male MPs, as well as their colleagues. Violence against women takes place in all areas of our society. We cannot accept that!

I am Terry Reintke, MEP and women's political spokesperson for the Green party in the European Parliament. I have also been sexually harassed. And I am tired of being reduced to my looks. This must stop!

That is why I have started the campaign #metooEU together with the feminist women's network Period.Brussels. We demand:

  1. Creating a zero-tolerance atmosphere towards violence in any form be it structural, sexual, physical or psychological.
  2. Accountability of Perpetrator: expansion and full exhaustion of available penalties and sanctions.
  3. Creation of a central complaints office for reporting harassment cases for all EU-Institutions.
  4. Ensuring the access to an independent harassment committee in the European Parliament that does not reproduce the internal structures of power by having MEPs on board.
  5. Victims and allies need whistleblower status and protection: victims and those who are reporting must be utterly assured of their anonymity and discretion with their demands.
  6. Psychological support for victims: every institution must have a central office with doctors, social workers, and counselors.
  7. Mandatory training on sexual harassment and mobbing as well as awareness raising of omnipresent and existing patriarchal structures  for those who are in positions of power.
  8. Training and information offer for staff to recognise sexual harassment and to know their rights.

We ask that the EU Commission finally submits a directive against violence against women. So far, there has been a lack of political will to close this gap. All women in Europe deserve better protection against sexual harassment and attacks.

Power must never be abused in this way. With this campaign, we are standing side by side with all women who have spoken out. The known cases have to be investigated!

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