Anna | Amsterdam

I am 30, Female, and just moved to Amsterdam after living in new york city and Milan, Italy where I never experienced street harassment. Yet in the cumulative 4 weeks I lived in Amsterdam, I have been harassed on the street 2 times. Once it was saturday afternoon in the park (Oosterpark), I was exiting a park and a man sitting on a bench curdely yelled “nice belly”. I was wearing long pants and a crop top t-shirt. I now ignore that area.

Another time was more shocking, two very young (12 year old) boys on biciclyes in a residential neighborhood in Oost asked me if I wanted to buy an egg as I was walking back home. I said no thank you, and one of the very youngs boy said in English “I will break it on your ass”. I kept walking but was really disheartened- if boys this young are harassing women, what does that say about their influences at home and in society that makes them think they can act like this? How is that a sign that things will get better if boys this young are acting like this?

I hope these were exceptions, but if this is what living here is like, I am taking a pay cut and moving back to Milan. I otherwise really love Amsterdam, but you cannot put a price on the feeling of safety, peace of mind, being respected, and being able to walk where you want and wear want you want.