Saturday, June 11, 2016
Rape is becoming the norm in Europe - Nobody is talking about it
For this blogpost we define rape as: a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration perpetrated against a person without that person's consent. Wikipedia has a very well balanced and researched description of what is called the Cologne rapes, but it was more involved than than just Cologne.
"During the 2016 New Year's Eve celebrations, hundreds of sexual assaults (including groping), numerous thefts, and at least five rapes were reported in Germany, mainly in Cologne city centre.
Similar incidents were reported in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, and Bielefeld. All of the incidents involved women being surrounded and assaulted by groups of men on the street. There are more than 1,900 victims and it is reported that up to 1,000 men may have been involved in Cologne, acting in groups of several dozen. Police reported that the perpetrators were men of "Arab or North African appearance" and said that Germany had never experienced such mass sexual assaults before. The attacks sparked an international outcry, a debate about women's rights, the sustainability of Germany's asylum policy, and social differences between European societies and those of North Africa and the Middle East. Taking place during the European migrant crisis (see timeline), the attacks also led to a hardening of attitudes against mass immigration."
Did the assaults end after New Years? No.
This is a graphic from the Gatestone Institute of the reported rapes in Germany and surrounding countries since then. The red ones are assaults against children. In the United States, according to the Department of Justice, The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reports that the majority of rapes and sexual assaults perpetrated against women and girls in the United States between 1992 and 2000 were not reported to the police. Only 36 percent of rapes, 34 percent of attempted rapes, and 26 percent of sexual assaults were reported.
In Germany, the percent is believed to be lower. Much lower. When most Americans heard about the events in Cologne, they wondered why the police did not do more. According to buzzfeed:
"This is the irony women’s activists are struggling with in the wake of attacks in Cologne. A quick squeeze of the breasts, a hand on the ass, an unwanted kiss — when it happens in a public space, none of these are against the law in Germany.
“The German law accepts that a man generally has the right to touch a woman, to have sexual intercourse with a woman. It’s his right, unless the woman shows her resistance very, very strongly,” said Chantal Louis, an editor at Emma, Germany’s oldest feminist magazine. “We have a situation where … even touching the breasts or vagina can’t be punished in the logic of that law, because if the perpetrator does it very quickly, you don’t have time to resist. It seems weird and crazy, but that’s German law.”
There are several perceptors in play here. We could talk about the muslim perceptor that women must dress differently. Or the backlash against muslim immigrants. But I would like to drill down on the fear and pain women and children feel right now in Germany. And from January till now, it has been cool in Germany, winter to spring, June 20, the start of summer, is just around the corner. This is when people tend to wear looser and lighter clothes.
Or swimming pools, according to the daily mail, "The Arriba water park (picture) in Norderstedt, Germany, says it has been forced to segregate men and women after a string of girls were sexually assaulted by migrants over the last year
The girls aged 14 and 18 had been using the water slides but their attackers, both from Afghanistan aged 14 and 34, had been waiting for them at the bottom and had then sexually assaulted them.
The accused are being kept in custody as prosecutors said that the degree of the sexual assault was so severe that it justified rape charges.
Before that, the fun park was at the centre of similar problems last summer when four teenagers aged 15 and the fifth aged 17 had also been molested on the slides by a group of asylum seekers.
And it is not just Germany, according to the Swedish Expressen, (translated from Swedish): "The popular Eriksdal in Stockholm introduced gender-segregated whirlpools earlier this year after extensive problems with boys and young men groping women.
Last year, there were 14 police reports concerning sexual molestation of the bath where girls as young as eleven years were victims , reported the Daily News earlier this year. On Monday, police announced that they will now expand its coverage of the bath and uniformed police regularly patrol in the bathhouse . The reason is that sexual assaults continued to increase."
One thing the German government is trying are posters depicting correct behavior. I have my doubts that they will serve as a powerful perceptor. Poster versus Bikini, you make the call.