Fireworks light the sky above the Brandenburg Gate shortly after midnight in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. Hundreds of thousands of people celebrated New Year’s Eve welcoming the new year 2015 in Germany’s capital. (AP Photo/Steffi Loos)
Two years ago, New Years celebrations resulted in about one thousand women being the victim of sexual assaults that ranged from groping to rape. Unsurprisingly, this outburst of misogynistic violence coincided with a massive influx of mostly male refugees from the most violent and misogynistic area of the world.
On New Year’s Eve 2015, about 1,200 women became victims of sexual assault in several major German cities, with more than 600 women attacked in Cologne and about 400 victims in the northern German city of Hamburg. Prosecutors established that more than 2,000 men were involved in the assaults, but only a tiny fraction — about half of them foreign nationals who at the time had only recently arrived in the country — had been identified a year later.
It took months for the full scale of the 2015 assaults to emerge, but when prosecutors released their final estimates, Germans’ attitude toward refugees changed dramatically: To many, New Year’s Eve 2015 is the night Germany’s welcoming attitude toward newcomers ended. Leading politicians called for tougher deportation laws soon thereafter.
This year, the nation that popularized the concentration camp has come up with a novel idea. A women’s ‘safe zone.”
As thousands celebrate New Year’s Eve at Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate on Sunday night, a team of medical professionals in a white tent only yards away will be standing by, waiting for possible victims of sexual assault and harassment to seek their help.
After mass sexual assaults occurred on New Year’s Eve in several German cities two years ago, Berlin officials now work on the assumption that prevention efforts alone may no longer be sufficient at such large-scale events. Women will be able to speak to psychologists immediately after being assaulted or harassed in a “safe zone” at the Berlin New Year’s Eve event.
While the presence of medical professionals and police officers at crowded event sites is nothing new, it is the first time such a dedicated area with experienced staffers will be set up in Berlin, and the first time that such an effort is being undertaken on New Year’s Eve in Germany.
The German Polizei are pretty capable guys, as I recall, and they aren’t happy about what is happening.
A German police union boss has criticized organizers of Berlin’s annual open-air New Year’s Eve party for designating a special “safety area” for women, saying it suggests they aren’t safe from assault elsewhere.
The comments by Rainer Wendt, who heads the right-leaning DpolG union, come amid an ongoing debate in Germany about how to tackle an increase in sexual assaults.
Wendt told the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung daily in an interview published Saturday that establishing such a safe zone sends a “devastating message.”
“By doing so one is saying there are safe zones and unsafe zones” for women that could result in “the end of equality, freedom of movement and self-determination,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.
And that is exactly what the ‘safe zones’ do. They communicate to women that the environment is unsafe and that they won’t be protected if they stray from an approved area.
This, quite honestly, is f***ing insane. The German government has conceded that the level of threat of sexual assault on women (for now) is so high that it must establish a protected area. Rather than policing the hell out of the crowd and taking strong actions to send violators back to the Third World sh** hole of their origin after an unpleasant stay in a German prison, the Germans are throwing in the towel.