Official reports of verbal aggression against public transport staff used as basis for rap song

Rappers frequently pepper their songs with obscenities. But the torrents of abuse in “Respect”, the new song by the rapper Youssef Swatt’s, are not poetry. In fact, they are taken literally from official reports and are examples of the genuine insults hurled daily at the staff of the Brussels transport company, STIB-MIVB. The transport company aims to address the problem with this new campaign. 

“Son of a bitch”, “Asshole”, “Shut your face, you little slut”, “You piss me off, you’re a piece of shit”, …

The words come as a shock, but they’re nothing in comparison to what STIB-MIVB staff have to put up with every day. Last year, no fewer than 657 official reports of verbal attacks by passengers on the transport company’s staff were filed. On top of this, there were 113 recorded cases of physical aggression. The real figures are actually far higher, since many cases go unreported. Insults and abuse happen every day… and the mental toll on staff is high.

With this single by the young rapper Youssef Swatt’s, STIB-MIVB, together with creative agencies mortierbrigade and Digizik, are calling upon travellers to show more respect for the people who make Brussels move. Swatt’s, whose father is actually a bus driver, didn’t hesitate a moment to lend his voice to this unique project. All the staff in the video also have their own reasons for taking part. Alongside the video itself, the campaign will feature real testimonials by STIB-MIVB staff.

The campaign has been deliberately censored on the radio, in print and on social media. Unfortunately, this is not possible in the daily lives of STIB-MIVB staff, who have to put up with the uncensored insults non stop.

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