1,000 Men in Germany Spent NYE Sexually Assaulting Women

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Approximately 1,000 drunk men kicked off the New Year with a non-consensual furor by sexually assaulting dozens of young women outside of the central railway station in Cologne, Germany on New Year’s Eve.

In between launching dangerous fireworks at one another, the men reportedly groped, molested, robbed, and threatened women near the city’s iconic cathedral. According to the police, one woman was also raped.

Police received a total of 90 criminal complaints from witnesses and possible victims who said women were being surrounded by groups of “20-30 men” of “Arab or North African origin.” Those speculations about their ethnicities has prompted some to label the perpetrators as possible refugees, leading to an intense debate over migrants within the country.

Germany is one of the most welcoming European nations for refugees, and in 2015 alone the country took in 1.1 million asylum seekers. So far there have been no additional measures introduced to prevent their continued arrival, which has begun to bother citizens as sentiments shift with increasing terror threats, and anti-immigration rallies have broken out.

So far there has been no verifiable proof that the drunken mob was in fact full of refugees. Cologne’s Mayor Henriette Reker, who is a prominent pro-refugee politician, isn’t too fond of the hasty conclusions about who the perpetrators were. In between expressing her outrage over the attacks Reker said,

It’s absolutely improper for us or for people who are judging this objectively to immediately link a group that appears to come from North Africa with refugees.

Unfortunately, the mayor then severely backtracked by pissing off feminists with her advice to women on how to avoid future attacks.

Reker said in a statement that women could protect themselves by keeping “a certain distance of more than an arm’s length” from unknown men. She then reiterated her comments to a German public service broadcaster Tuesday saying,

Women would also be smart not to go and embrace everyone that you meet and who seems to be nice. Such offers could be misunderstood, and that is something every woman and every girl should protect herself from.

Excuse me while I roll my eyes.

The notion that women are somehow to blame, or could have prevented unwanted sexual advances is just preposterous. But rather than get sucked into a rant on the harms of victim blaming, let’s chalk Reker’s comments up to ignorance.

However, Germany’s crisis as whole remains unsettling. The mass assault was horrific and seemingly unprecedented, and the authorities are still scrambling to catch the men involved–in fact no one is even really sure how many men were involved. The added prejudice toward migrants, and the sexist comments from the city’s mayor all amount to one huge train wreck, which is seems to be a pretty fitting word given that this all started outside of a rail station.

Hopefully Germany can find justice for these women and prevent attacks like this from happening in the future.

Alexis Evans
Alexis Evans is an Assistant Editor at Law Street and a Buckeye State native. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a minor in Business from Ohio University. Contact Alexis at



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