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Cologne attacks - No Excuses for sexual violence Campaign

(46 Posts)
emilybohemia Thu 14-Jan-16 12:11:45

I wondered what the response to the Cologne attacks by German feminists has been and discovered that women in Germany have been using the hashtag ausnahmslos.

These women condemn the attacks on women on New Year's Eve and they demand that those that attack and rape women must not be protected. They call for action against sexual violence be and state this must be prioritised.

They also assert that sexual violence must not only be addressed if the offender is seen by society as 'other¨, eg. Muslim, Arab, black or North African. They point out that focusing on those seen as 'the other' and "non-German" is only helpful to the spread of the right wing and populism

They state that all victims of sexual violence should be taken seriously, regardess of ethnicity.

The women state that sexual violence must also become a political priority and point to statistics by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), that more than half of all women have been sexually assaulted and a third sexualized and / or experienced physical violence and the police crime statistics, annually more than 7,300 displayed rape and sexual coercion in Germany OFF3, which are twenty everyday, the number of unreported cases being much higher.

It is interesting that these German are not focusing on one particular race or culture, but focusing on all forms of sexual violence become a priotity and I hope they are effective in bringing this to the attention of German political leaders and police chiefs.

You can search the hastag on twitter if you would like more information or to support if you wish to.

emilybohemia Thu 14-Jan-16 12:18:17

This is the English version

I think their proposed political and social solutions are sound.

We advocate for:
Political solutions:

1. Counselling services and rape crisis centres must receive stronger support and their services must be expanded.

2. Laws must be adapted and changed: Sexual harassment is not a criminal offence in Germany yet and what constitutes rape is contingent on the victim’s behaviour.

3. Increased educational work and awareness campaigns can help prevent sexualised violence and assist survivors in receiving support. We want to sensitise society to the fact that sexism and sexualised violence is most likely to occur in close social environment and across all sectors of society.

4. A gender-sensitive education can further prevent (sexualised) violence.

5. Police and law-enforcement must receive gender and sexualised violence sensitivity trainings to ensure prosecution and appropriate behaviour toward survivors.

Societal solutions:

6. The discussion on sexualised violence must be led in an open and differentiated way, including the focus on sociocultural and ideological reasons for violence, and the stigmatisation of survivors.

7. Survivors of sexualised violence must be taken seriously. Victim blaming must stop.

8. Sexism and racism are not problems of ‘the others’: All of us are shaped by structural discrimination and we have to learn to reflect upon our prejudices.

9. Witnesses of sexualised violence must not turn a blind eye to these incidents but intervene – from direct support in the case of sexualised violence to opposing sexist statements such as rape jokes.

VertigoNun Thu 14-Jan-16 12:21:48

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

anonooo Thu 14-Jan-16 12:49:02

thanks for this. It is useful to see these opinions. And vertigonun - you are in danger of sounding like someone who wants to close down free speech, which is scary.

emilybohemia Fri 15-Jan-16 19:06:55

Hi anonooo. I didn't realise until today that there is a space at the bottom to sign if you are anyone else would like to. Just thought I'd mention it. Women's Hour has also been asking them on twitter to come on and speak about their 'no excuses' campaign.

emilybohemia Fri 15-Jan-16 19:13:48

Hi MUMSNET HQ, pretty please, can I change th thread title to 'No Excuses For Sexual Violence Campaign' please? I don't know if that is possible. Would it also be possible to move it to 'In the news' pretty please? Thanks muchly if it is possible . x

Tate15 Fri 15-Jan-16 19:20:15

I thought sexual assault was illegal in the UK. Why do we need a petition?

emilybohemia Fri 15-Jan-16 20:54:19

There is more to the petition than that as I stated above. Info on the site.

Theydontknowweknowtheyknow Sat 16-Jan-16 12:20:15

I admire the campaign. But the problem is that they are attempting to be too culture-neutral.

In the one hand they are correct in that sexual violence needs to be tackled regardless of the nationality/religion of the attackers.

On the other hand ignoring the nationality or the attackers is naive because there are three ways in which the attacks in Cologne differ from the type of everyday sexism and violence we see in Western life:

- the scale. This was on a massive scale. Comparing it to Oktoberfest and other VAW that is unfortunately inherent in large group festival is pointless because the sheer numbers are astronomical: over 500 sexual attacks in a few hours!

- the method. Tarrahush Gamea (the act of a group of men isolating, surrounding, stripping and sexually assaulting a woman) is more common in the countries from which these attackers come than it is in Germany or other European countries. This is evidenced by one of the victims herself saying that she has always felt safe on the streets of Germany and this type of attack is unprecedented.

The devastating effect of this specific type of street harassment is that it challenges a woman's right to be in public. That's a fundamental right.

- it was coordinated, on a massive scale. Crib sheets translating sexually violent threats into the local language plus the social media coordination and the interception in Finland shows this. That's a deliberate attack on women's way of life in the West.

So good on the German feminist group for tackling this but it was not a culture-neutral crime. One culture (in a very broad sense) very clearly attacked another culture and that needs to be acknowledged.

TwistedReach Sun 17-Jan-16 09:50:19

Emily - thank you for this.

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Sun 17-Jan-16 10:00:38

Have they arrested those involved?

EasterRobin Sun 17-Jan-16 11:07:48

Hi Emily, thanks for highlighting this. It seems they've got a broad reaching campaign here which I can get behind. It would be good to have a two-pronged attack on the issue I think. One like this on the wider sexual violence issue (which impacts everyone) and something more focused on oppressive cultures as well. Although the current outrage is sparked by sex crimes happening to Europeans who have not witnessed this scale and form of misogynistic violence before, please realise that the silent (to us) majority of these crimes will be happening to the girls and women of these cultures. It is important that they do not get forgotten just because we are afraid to say something that could be seen as "culturally insensitive".

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Sun 17-Jan-16 11:35:17

One culture (in a very broad sense) very clearly attacked another culture

shock Men attacked women's bodies.

Where culture plays a part in enabling those attacks, then of course it's right and actively useful to acknowledge that. And the campaign explicitly states this:
6. The discussion on sexualised violence must be led in an open and differentiated way, including the focus on sociocultural and ideological reasons for violence, and the stigmatisation of survivors.

If you become more concerned with a narrative of "culture vs culture", you risk minimising attacks on women's bodies and rights where you don't see a difference of "culture".

I don't think you've stepped over that line in your post at 12:20:15, but I've seen posts in the last few days that have. This is why I can't support an approach where "culture vs culture" is seen as The Problem, and attacks on women as merely an example of The Problem.

As opposed to an approach where sexual assault on women and other infringements of women's rights are The Problem. And sociocultural reasons contributing to the attacks must be acknowledged and tackled because they are contributing to The Problem.

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Sun 17-Jan-16 12:17:15

should say
"you risk failing to prevent and minimising attacks on women's bodies and rights"

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Sun 17-Jan-16 12:36:43

Should add, thank you for posting this Emily. This is something I could get behind.

The petition for the UK got up on the other threads now also has wording I can agree with. But this one has specific demands, rather than calling for debate, so is more likely to have a positive impact.

(I appreciate they're being run in different countries and won't affect each other.)

emilybohemia Sun 17-Jan-16 12:56:07

I'm not interested in a campaign focusing on one culture, I think I've made that clear. This campaign doesn't disregard the role of cultural actors, but it recognises the complexity of cultural factors and the fact that sexual violence isn't caused by one group. I don't see the benefit in a petition rooted in xenophobia.

Inkanta Sun 17-Jan-16 13:18:56

Emily I wish you would stop name calling when people want to discuss the cultural (or race) factors involved in the Cologne assaults.

The men identified were on the whole migrants - that fact has been established by German authorities. You really must stop the 'racism', 'xenophobia' and 'far right' accusations that you make when posters are trying to discuss the relevant facts and factors in this incident (and others), that are linked to women's rights. Posters have a right to discuss all this robustly without being thwarted time and time again. I myself want to understand this phenomenon and I want pro-action.

It is almost like you are on a mission to stop such discussions and maybe stop the petition. It really is a heart sink when you do this, but these cultural and race issues linked to attitudes to women need discussion more than ever, but without your accusations of 'racism', 'xenophobia' and 'far right' used as a weapon to close discussion or to limit it.

emilybohemia Sun 17-Jan-16 13:54:14

Inkanta, six threads, five with 1000 posts, with a handful of people disagreeing with you, hardly a sign of the discussion being stopped.

I don't have to stop saying anything. You seem very frightened by the handful of people challenging you. Your discussion is limited by prejudice and a lot of unsubtantiated nonsense, not by my recognition of the xenophobia in it.

Migrants have not been shown to be more or less sexually aggressive than any other group.

EasterRobin Sun 17-Jan-16 14:14:18

Emily, do you really think it's xenophobic to protect all women, not just those from the same culture as yourself?

Inkanta Sun 17-Jan-16 14:23:01

'You seem very frightened by the handful of people challenging you.'

Emily - it's the accusations to posters of 'racism', 'xenophobia' 'far right' and 'prejudice' that are definitely a heart sink to read because these accusations from you are quite relentless and also untrue.

I mean do you want to thwart discussion? Do you feel you are doing some greater good?

Well yes, the reason we have had six threads is because women feel very strongly about what happened in Cologne, and we can't ignore that the perpetrators WERE mainly migrants. What was all that about? That factor requires some focus and it is unfair if you cannot allow this focus, and instead make accusations. That is not a fair challenge.

BackToTheNorth Sun 17-Jan-16 14:28:59


'Inkanta, six threads, five with 1000 posts, with a handful of people disagreeing with you, hardly a sign of the discussion being stopped.'

Indeed. It might even be a sign that attempts to shut down essential discussion of women's safety from sexual attack with accusations of 'racism' and 'xenophobia' command almost no popular support.

glenthebattleostrich Sun 17-Jan-16 14:31:58

Emily, please give me an example of when 1000 + white men have gathered and sexually assaulted en mass.

Your ridiculous attempts to label everyone who disagrees with you as a big old racist are insulting and pathetic.

The fact is that the attacks were carried out by migrants. That is not racism, it is stating a fact. But hey, don't let facts get in the way of your blinkered narrative.

emilybohemia Sun 17-Jan-16 14:33:21

Inkanta, you are throwing a tantrum and stamping your foot because a handful of people disagree with the overall consensus on those threads and challenge prejudice. Discussion isn't everyone agreeing.

The attacks do require some focus, I agree, not poorly substantiated assumptions, generalisations and xenophobic hate.

Robin, the discussion and petition have little to do with protecting women.

BackToTheNorth Sun 17-Jan-16 14:39:55


Would you please stop using facts and reason to support your arguments? Facts and reason are very racist, you know!

Inkanta Sun 17-Jan-16 14:49:57

Inkanta, you are throwing a tantrum and stamping your foot because a handful of people disagree with the overall consensus on those threads and challenge prejudice.

Emily - you are doing it again! Name calling. Making accusations of 'throwing a tantrum' or 'stamping your foot'. You can't seem to stop yourself.

I'm glad you agree that the attacks require some focus ..

I don't see xenophobic hate. Women are understandably angry about the gang (of migrants) who assaulted the women in Cologne, and who seemed to get away with it, and women want to see this phenomenon discussed in parliament.

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