One of the victims of what is believed to be a coordinated sexual assault Cologne, Germany on New Year’s Eve described her harrowing experience when a group of 30 men surrounded her and her friends and assaulted them. Some of them had their clothes ripped and one girl was “abused with fingers.”
Michelle, 18, a victim of the mass sexual attack on December 31, said she and her friends had arrived at the train station at around 11 p.m. She said there were as many as 1000 people outside. She and her friends were making their way towards the River Rhine to see the fireworks when “suddenly 20 to 30 men who surrounded us, and more and more came.” The man, she said, started touching them on their legs, torsos, backs and even tried to slip their hands under their clothes. They tried to make the assault stop but no amount of shouting could get to the men. That was when they realized that the men were foreigners and do not understand their language. The men had also tried to steal their mobile phones.
German newspaper Bild described the painful experience of another victim, 20, who said she had her clothing torn from her body. Her friend was “abused with fingers.” With the haphazardness around the train station, another victim said that she was afraid she might be killed or raped and “nobody would notice.” She and her friend were approached by a group of men who “touched us everywhere” and “grabbed between our legs.” She added, “I thought to myself that if we stay here in this crowd they could kill us, they could rape us and nobody would notice. I thought we simply had to accept it. There was no one around us who helped or was in a position to help. All I wanted was to get out.”
There were fears of more attacks as the city’s Carnival comes closer. As many as 90 complaints for the incident, which are believed to be coordinated, were received by the Cologne police, as reported by Sydney Morning Herald. The incident was a “completely new dimension of crime,” city police chief Wolfgang Albers said. In a related report from NEWS.com.au, one woman was found to be raped and 118 others were groped or robbed.
On Tuesday, German chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her “outrage over these disgusting attacks and sexual assaults.” She called for Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker to take action “to find the perpetrators as quickly and comprehensively as possible and punish them, regardless of their origin or background.”