Voice of Europe, January 1, 2018
Berlin’s newly constructed “safety area” for women, could not prevent several sexual assaults during the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.
At this moment, at least 13 cases were reported to the police and seven suspects were arrested in the German capital. Police refused to provide information about the ethnicity or the nationality of the perpetrators.
Near midnight, Berlin’s police tweeted that they were receiving the first reports of sexual assaults, a fact that was quickly picked up by German media.
The special “safety area” for harassed or sexually assaulted women was barely visited. Only four women took refuge in the area’s Red Cross tents with health care professionals and security personnel.
The creation of the safety area was heavily criticised by a German police union boss. He said it communicates a “devastating message”:
“By doing so, one is saying there are safe zones and unsafe zones” for women, a message that could result in “the end of equality, freedom of movement and self-determination”, he said.