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Sexual assaults in Leiden: students urged to be vigilant and alert

5 December 2019

Leiden has been shaken by a spate of sexual assaults in the city centre over the last few weeks. Another young woman was assaulted on 4 December, this time on Doelensteeg. She is the third victim in a matter of weeks. The University is calling on students to be careful and vigilant, and to immediately report rape or sexual assault (or attempted rape or sexual assault) to the police.

The police are also calling for any witnesses. Any information, however irrelevant it might seem, could prove valuable and lead to the arrest of the perpetrator(s). The police have released a description [in Dutch] of the attacker from 4 December and have allocated more resources to the investigation. In addition, more police will be patrolling the city centre.

Students are advised to take good care, avoid going out alone at night and report anything suspicious to the police or call the emergency number 112. Mayor Lenferink has also called on the people of Leiden to contact the police immediately with any information that could lead to the arrest of the perpetrator.

Although victims can feel reluctant about contacting the police, it is very important that they do so. If someone you know has been affected, please support them and encourage them to go to the police. Specially trained police officers will support them and help them report the offence.

The University is in close contact with the police, the municipality, the Local Chamber of Student Associations (PKvV) and the individual student associations.

If you have witnessed or are the victim of rape or sexual assault and would like to talk to someone at the University, please contact the Ombuds Officer or the Confidential Counsellor for Unacceptable Behaviour.

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