Spiked drinks and sexual violence at Germany’s Oktoberfest

By Adam Ibrahim

MUNICH: Oktoberfest in Germany is supposed to be a coming together celebration where people descend on German soil for good times and good drink. This year, however that is changing as reports of a dramatic rise in sexual violence and spiked drinks are coming forth.

Marta Frings told Bikyamasr.com that this year is transformed from a joyous affair for women into one of horror for many. As a server in Munich, she has seen first hand the number of assaults on women, and it is disgusting her in ways she can only attempt to describe.

“I have seen servers get groped by men by the hour. As we pass, the men, often drunk just grab our behinds and our chests as if we are playthings for them,” she told Bikyamasr.com, her anger in obvious form. “There was always some grabbing and harassment, but this year it is out of control.”

She retold the story of one of her colleagues who was grabbed in the crotch by two men and held down as they attempted to go farther.

“The woman slapped them and called for the police, who came and removed the men, but this is a crime and we need to have legal action in order to preserve this tradition,” she said.

It’s just as bad for women drinkers at the festival.

According to the Munich-based institute for the prevention of sexual abuse, the “Safe Wiesn for girls and women” initiative, setting up a help point for women at the Munich Oktoberfest, taking in women who have had too much to drink, are lost, or have been the victim of assault.

Christine Rudolf-Jilg from the institute told The Local that so far, 91 women had been treated at the centre – already a 40 percent increase on the total number of women that arrived in 2011.

“We think that five of these girls had their drinks spiked,” she added.

For Fings and other women attending and working at the Oktoberfest, they are demanding better security in order to ensure the safety of women.

“If this continues, I think women will protest and call for boycotts next year. This is not the German way,” she added.


(To read original article, visit this Bikyamasr link)

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