Published: Tue, January 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Berlin Creates 'Safe Zones' for Women at New Year's Celebrations

Berlin Creates 'Safe Zones' for Women at New Year's Celebrations

"By doing so one is saying there are safe zones and unsafe zones" for women that could result in "the end of equality, freedom of movement and self-determination", the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Rainer Wendt of the DpolG union says establishing such an area sends a "devastating message" that women aren't safe from assault outside of it.

The move to have a safety zone comes after dozens of women were attacked in the 2015 New Year's Eve celebrations allegedly by male migrants, following an influx of refugees into Germany.

"[Assaulted women] can stay here and calm down or speak to someone trained to offer psychological support", Anja Marx, the spokeswoman of Berlin's main New Year's Eve celebrations, told the Washington Post.

Authorities in Berlin have set up a "safe zone' for women to prevent sexual assault ahead of New Year's Eve celebration, according to a number of news reports".

The number of rapes and sexual assaults recorded in Germany a year ago rose 12.8 per cent compared to 2015, to 7,919 cases, an increase blamed on an influx of asylum-seekers, many young and male.

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Statistics for 2017 aren't yet available.

The legislation, passed in July 2016, also made it easier to deport foreign nationals convicted of sex crimes.

The number of rapes and sexual assaults recorded in Germany previous year rose 12.8 percent compared to 2015, to 7,919 cases, an increase blamed on an influx of asylum-seekers, many young and male. Following the police's decision, a designated tent dubbed "Women's safety area" will be erected where women can seek the help of Red Cross crisis intervention specialists and psychologists.

People demonstrate against racism and sexism in Cologne, Germany in the aftermath of a string of New Year's Eve sexual assaults and robberies on January 9, 2016.

In the Brandenburg region outside Berlin, police said Monday that a 35-year-old man died after igniting fireworks, and a 19-year-old suffered fatal head injuries after he set off a homemade device. Other security measures planned for this year's event include concrete bollards and barricades, with large bags prohibited and visitor numbers strictly controlled.

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