Women who were raped on New Year's Eve had it coming to them, according to an outrageous statement from the mayor of Cologne, who said women should adopt a “code of conduct” to prevent future sexual assault.
Mayor Henriette Reker attended a crisis meeting with Police Chief Wolfgang Albers and Wolfgang Wurm on Tuesday to debate on the attack, which saw around 100 women repeatedly assaulted by what appeared to be people of “Arab and North African origin.”
However the mayor’s insensitive comments touched some nerves. Instead of addressing the root cause of the violence, the newly elected mayor blamed the victims of the abuse for failing to defend themselves.
Speaking on live television, the pro-migrant mayor proposed women should stick to a code which would require them to stay “an arm’s length distance from strangers” and to ask bystanders to intervene if some unknown person tries to make a move on them.
“The women and young girls have to be more protected in the future so these things don’t happen again,” Reker said. “This means, they should go out and have fun, but they need to be better prepared, especially with the Cologne carnival coming up. For this, we will publish online guidelines that these young women can read through to prepare themselves”.
Some think that Reker, who was herself became a victim of an attack in October, should show more sympathy to the victims and focus on curbing the immigrant issues.
It is unclear what benefit this guidance code will provide for women, but the mayor should appreciate the young victims whose modest clothing protected them from the worst of the assaults. One young woman claimed: “Fortunately I wore a jacket and trousers. A skirt would probably have been torn away from me.”
Despite her words of warning to prepare women for violence, the mayor adamantly denied the suggestion that there was a link between the attacks and the immigrant issue, contradicting her own chief of police.
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