The Mayor of Cologne, Germany, said Wednesday that women should abide by a “code of conduct” to prevent future sexual assaults, following the sexual assaults of dozens of women during New Year’s Eve celebrations in the city, the Independent is reporting.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, at least 1,000 men, described as “of Arab or North African origin,” wreaked havoc throughout the ancient German city of about a million people. Witnesses said the gangs of young, drunken men threw fireworks into crowds; robbed and threatened revelers; and sexually assaulted dozens of women, groping them. At least one victim claims to have been raped.
— Reuters World (@ReutersWorld) January 5, 2016
One victim, identified by Breitbart as 28-year-old “Katja L,” described being groped and touched her as she was walking near the city’s train station.
“We then walked through this group of men. There was an alley through [the men] which we walked through. Suddenly I felt a hand on my buttocks, then on my breasts, in the end, I was groped everywhere. It was a nightmare. Although we shouted and beat them, the guys did not stop. I was desperate and think I was touched around 100 times in the 200 meters. Fortunately I wore a jacket and trousers. a skirt would probably have been torn away from me.”
That the men who carried out the sexual assaults appeared to be of Arabic and/or North African origin touched a nerve with some Germans, already upset about the country’s acceptance of immigrants. In particular, it appears that many such immigrants hail from certain Muslim nations where women aren’t necessarily afforded the same respect and protections that European women are used to.
— Anil kumar (@simbamara) January 5, 2016
In an emergency meeting this week with Cologne Chief of Police Wolfgang Albers, Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker said that she has heard reports of roving gangs attacking women in other cities.
“We have heard by now that they [the attacks] have occurred in other cities. This of course is not comforting to us.”
Mayor Henriette Reker suggested that the German government should educate migrants from Muslim nations about what sort of behavior is acceptable in Germany.
“We need to prevent confusion about what constitutes happy behaviour and what is utterly separate from openness, especially in sexual behaviour.”
The mayor also insisted that not all of the New Year’s Eve attackers are recent immigrants — Germany has welcomed thousands of refugees fleeing war-torn Syria — and said that many of them were already known to police.
In a move that shocked many social media users, the mayor suggested that German women and girls need to abide by a “Code of Conduct” in the future, in order to prevent sexual assault. That Code of Conduct includes keeping an arm’s length distance from strangers, staying in groups, and intervening (or asking bystanders to intervene) in case you witness an assault taking place.
Those suggestions did not go over well on social media.
— Lee Laborczfalvi (@laborcz) January 5, 2016
Cologne’s female mayor: women must “maintain arm’s length distance to strangers”. Everything about this depresses https://t.co/8qkrawHnmj
— Catherine Mayer (@catherine_mayer) January 5, 2016
The city of Cologne is preparing to prevent a repeat of such violence in February, when Mardi Gras celebrations are expected to bring tens of thousands of revelers into downtown Cologne and other German cities.
Do you believe the mayor of Cologne is right to suggest that women need to abide by a “Code of Conduct” in response to the city’s New Year’s Eve violence? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images]