Problems in Germany - level 3
Beneath the fireworks that lit up the German sky, hundreds of women were allegedly assaulted in Cologne on New Year's Eve. Here are just a few of the women who claim to have been attacked.
This victim describes "being touched everywhere" by a group of men in the main station, while this woman expresses her outrage at police incompetence, saying they were so understaffed that women had no option but to endure the assaults.
Since New Year's Eve ,police presence has been upped in the square, but if these protesters are anything to go by, perhaps it's too little too late.
The victims say the attackers were of Arabic and North African appearance, fuelling pre-existing tensions between Eastern and Western values and sexual attitudes. With accusations like this, in a country where 1.1 million asylum seekers were taken in just last year, lead to internal divisions.
So far, 16 suspects have been identified but there have been no arrests.
"Women are at risk to be touched without consent. They are in risk to be grabbed from behind without knowing it, without knowing who did it. So this is not, like new, but being in a group of men and then being rubbed and being in a crowd of men, touching women.
Yeah, that's new. We didn't have that before."
Chancellor Merkel has condemned the events as disgusting, threatening to deport suspects as a sign to those who won't abide by Germany's law.
And the country’s Interior Minister has blasted the police for failing to do their job. Whilst opposing sides of the refugee debate are being further polarised by incidents like this.
Not the new year that Germany had anticipated for 2016.
Difficult words: allegedly (according to the women), assault (to attack sexually or physically), claim (to say), outrage (a reaction of anger or shock), incompetence (not being able to do something), endure (to survive), be anything to go by (to be an example), too little too late (not enough to save the situation), fuel (tp make worse), tension (when people are very angry or upset), attitude (the way of thinking about something), division (being divided – in two or more groups), suspect (a person who probably did something bad), consent (saying “yes”), grab (to catch), condemn (to say that you do not like something very much), abide (to follow), blast (to criticise a lot), polarise (to be divided strongly), anticipate (to expect to happen – to think that something will happen).
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