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Mayor of Cologne: If Women Don’t Want to Be Raped by Muslim ‘refugees’, They Should Stay Away from Strangers


COLOGNE, GERMANY - DECEMBER 06:  Henriette Reker attends the television show 2015! Menschen, Bilder, Emotionen - RTL Jahresrueckblick on December 6, 2015 in Cologne, Germany.  (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images)


When Henriette Reker, the mayor of Cologne, Germany, was asked by reporters Tuesday about how women could be better protected from sexual assault, she probably shouldn’t have suggested that they travel in groups and stay away from strangers.

Reker’s comments, which came in the wake of roughly 100 reports of sexual assault and harassment during New Year’s celebrations in the western German city, implied that it is women — not the men who attack them — who control whether or not they are sexually assaulted. The remarks also strongly implied that female victims bear some responsibility for any potential crimes committed against them.

“There’s always the possibility of keeping a certain distance of more than an arm’s length — that is to say, to make sure yourself you don’t look to be too close to people who are not known to you and to whom you don’t have a trusting relationship,” she said at a press conference in Cologne.

Some 1,000 men are thought to have been involved in the attacks reported to police in recent days, which included at least one alleged rape as well as multiple other forms of sexual assault. Victims described the men as drunk, aggressive, and of North African or Arab descent.

The BBC reported that one man said both his partner and 15-year-old daughter were attacked by such a large group that he was unable to defend them. “The attackers grabbed her and my partner’s breasts and groped them between their legs,” he said.

Reker, who was a major advocate for Berlin’s decision to welcome hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees, said this week that many of the men involved were not asylum-seekers. In response, many Germans have accused the government of trying to cover up


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