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Germans battle refugee sex assaults with signs, cartoons


Rocked by a wave of sexual assaults committed by migrant men, Germany is fighting back with cartoons, in a PC campaign critics say would be comical if it didn’t address such a serious issue.

In a national effort already blasted by critics as demonstrating the government’s ineptitude in dealing with unruly refugees from the Middle East and North Africa, authorities have distributed anti-sexual harassment cartoon leaflets at public swimming pools and other public facilities. One depicts a hand reaching for a shapely, bikini-clad woman’s backside, and bears a universal-language slash demonstrating such behavior is forbidden.

“No verbal and bodily sexual harassment toward women in any kind of clothing,” reads the caption below.

Mass sexual assaults of women by refugees during New Year’s Eve celebrations sent shockwaves through the nation. The attackers were believed to be among the estimated wave of 1 million Muslims who have poured into Germany in the last year, prompting a culture clash that critics say Berlin has been slow to grasp.

Before and after the New Year’s Eve attacks, hundreds of which occurred in Cologne, there were widespread reports of male refugees sexually harassing and assaulting women in public. Many of the incidents occurred at the nation’s popular public swimming halls, where authorities this week posted signs and issued codes of conduct to discourage the violent behavior.


In the East German city of Leipzig, migrants have followed women into restroom and changing facilities, according to the newspaper Mitteldeutche Zeitung. Elsewhere, male refugees have jumped into pools fully clothed or wearing underwear and groped female bathers. Officials in several communities, including the Bavarian capital of Munich, have responded with anti-sexual harassment cartoon leaflets to stop the increasing number of sexual attacks and aggression in public swimming facilities.

“These signs are a good step, but they can only be a first initiative of more security measures to come,” Saba Farzan, executive director of Foreign Policy Circle, a Berlin strategy think tank, told “Protecting our women from vicious assaults means to teach refugees as well as migrants about gender equality.”

But critics say laws, not leaflets and signs, should


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