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(12 Posts)
BertieBotts Wed 14-Jan-15 22:03:14

I live in Germany. A few months ago I got a lift with a friend and when we got into the car noticed that there was a female symbol painted onto several of the parking spaces. I said partly as a joke and partly a bit WTF, "Are these parking spaces bigger or something?" She said no, apparently every multi storey/shopping centre/underground etc car park has certain parking spaces marked out as "Frauenparkplatz" (Women's parking spaces) which are near the exits, because a lot of women are afraid of being raped in car parks shock

It's been a while and I've been mulling it over and I'm not sure what to think about it. I mean it just seems bizarre, and the whole idea of rape prevention by avoiding dark scary car parks seems victim blamey, but OTOH it does seem meant in a positive way and perhaps women are more at risk in car parks than men? I don't know. What do you think?

EBearhug Thu 15-Jan-15 00:00:55

We were talking about this recently -
I think it's my comment at Sat 20-Dec-14 12:17:28 which started it. I haven't changed my opinion in the last three weeks. smile

(Is it possible to link to specific posts, rather than threads?)

MollyMaDurga Thu 15-Jan-15 00:16:09

I am scared of parking garages, I'm sure I'm not the only one. I'm not sure places near exits would deal with that though.
If it really could be safer why would it be victim blamey? I do feel safer when it's light and I don't have to walk into dark far away corners of an under/overground carpark. Too many scary movies maybe.
I don't think every car park should have women's places but I am open to experiment with them?

EBearhug Thu 15-Jan-15 00:41:19

But surely if you've got dark corners, it's unsafe for anyone, not just women. Men on their own in a dark corner are as likely to be assaulted as women are. The emphasis should be on making unsafe carparks safer, not making women feel like they're going to be attacked at any minute just because they're women, because being a woman isn't the main risk factor.

EBearhug Thu 15-Jan-15 00:42:55

If I remember tomorrow, I'll ask my German colleagues if there are any stats on men vs women and carpark attacks.

Yops Thu 15-Jan-15 08:34:03

I wonder if this is an idea put into action by the shops attached to the car parks? Perhaps they think it is a way of attracting customers. Shopping mall A feels safer than mall B, therefore I'll shop at A. Maybe it's driven by simple economics. What did the OP's friend think of the concept? Did it seem victim-blamey to her? Does it to Germans in general?

Britbird Thu 15-Jan-15 08:41:29

I hate underground car parks and avoid them if I can. It's not so much about fear of an attack, but I don't like the dark or being closed in. I'm guessing women shoppers have asked for this, no one is forcing them to park there.

Britbird Thu 15-Jan-15 08:44:13

But yes I agree all car parks should have a safer feel, better lighting etc. it's bit just women that can be attacked. Germany is not very keen on CCTV. Very rarely used. I wonder if this is also a factor.

Britbird Thu 15-Jan-15 08:44:48

bit = not.

BuffytheReasonableFeminist Thu 15-Jan-15 08:55:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

creamoftomato Thu 15-Jan-15 09:03:34

Interesting! I saw these for the first time a couple of months ago in an underground car park - there were also pictures of prams on the spaces so I assumed they were there for that. I was really surprised when my (male) German friend refused to use one (we had baby and buggy with us) because I had two men with me, so he insisted we didn't qualify to use one!

Agree that I had sort of mixed feelings about them - on the one hand, seems odd, but on the other hand I don't like car parks either (my DH agrees - says he finds them creepy because they are so often the scene for many TV/film rapes/murders). Think it's probably the right conclusion that car parks should just be made safer for everyone!?

HazleNutt Thu 15-Jan-15 15:29:43

I'm Switzerland and public transport has now introduced women's seats from 8MP - close to the driver.
On the one hand, yes, ammunition for MRAs. On the other, yes women are more likely to be raped in parking garages and hassled on buses, so it's just to equalize the situation.

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