Europe Has A Mass Rape Problem And Is Completely Failing Victims

by
editors
Cologne wasn’t the only place where unidentified groups of men targeted women with rape and attacks on the New Year’s Eve.

Mass Sexual Assaults

The horrendous mass assaults inflicted on New Year’s Eve and during early hours of Jan. 1 in Germany left the world fuming and angry. Not only were the attacks disturbingly coordinated, they were unprecedented in nature.

More than 1,000 men, who were later described as “North African or Arabic,” amassed near Cologne’s Gothic cathedral and main railway station along with the partiers and threw fireworks into the crowd to cause panic. They then proceeded to huddle around individual women and sexually assault them.

The entire situation went largely unnoticed at first. In fact, the local police even reported the festivities had been “relaxed and peaceful.” It was only after dozens of women came forward that the world learned more than 100 victims had filed complaints of harassment, robbery and two instances of rape.

What is even more distressing is that strikingly similar reports also emerged out of other cities across Europe, including Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Stuttgart in Germany, Helinski in Finland, Zürich in Switzerland and Salzburg in Austria.

Sadly, we live in a society where rape is often an overlooked crime when it is reported individually. Only when there are mass accusations do some authorities realize that it is a matter worth looking. That is probably what went down in Europe, since the culprits are still at large and the victim toll just keeps on increasing even a week after the incident.

Read More: Anti-Immigrant Groups Are Capitalizing On Cologne Attacks To Fuel Fear

Cologne’s Mayor Henriette Reker, whose awful response kept the universal culture of victim blaming alive, said women should stick to a code that would require them to stay “an arm’s length distance from strangers.” But the question remains: Is there a place on this planet where women are actually safe?

Even in countries where women have to cover from head to toe and the punishment for rape is much tougher than in the western countries, women are still assaulted and abused. It doesn’t matter what they wear, where they live and how they react, they are subjected to harassment all the same. Besides, this line of thinking puts the onus on women not to be raped; what about rapists just not raping? 

Even now as people have taken to streets in Germany to protest the assaults, officials are only focused on fulfilling their political motives rather than actually condemning these crimes. Anti-immigrants group are capitalizing on this tragedy while German officials have not clarified if the attackers were indeed asylum-seekers — which means they are still at large while their victims are being blamed for going through something traumatic.

Rape, sexual assaults and harassment are all crimes, and despite all that has been said and done, people need to realize that preventing such crime requires more than just a call for women to keep away from men.

It’s time the justice system  all over the world  focused more on prosecuting offenders instead of silencing victims.

Recommended: Woman Live-Blogged Her Rape For This Incredible Reason

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