Sex Attacks Plague Austria’s New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Emergency services were inundated Saturday night across Austria as multiple reports of sex assaults emerged, many committed by young men described as having a foreign appearance.
Although Cologne was the focus of migrant-perpetrated sex attacks last year, there were also many cases that occurred in neighbouring Austria. New police reports show that the situation hasn’t changed from last year with multiple cases of sexual assault, violence, and attacks with fireworks committed across the country, reports Der Standard.
In the city of Salzburg, a 31-year-old woman from Germany is said to have been sexually assaulted by an 18-year-old migrant. The Afghan migrant, who was said to be heavily intoxicated at the time, repeatedly tried to kiss the woman on the lips during the midnight celebration and grabbed her genital area.
Friends of the woman were able to restrain the young migrant, preventing him from attacking the woman further, and called the police who arrived on the scene a short time afterwards. Police took the man to a medical clinic, due to his intoxication, and then to jail where he awaits possible prosecution.
In the region of Tyrol, 11 women have come forward to police claiming to have been attacked by a group of men at the main marketplace in Innsbruck. The women say the group of attackers were black-haired with short beards and had a “southern appearance” – a phrase used in Germany to describe men of North African origin.
Two of the women were able to take photographs of the men with their mobile phones, but because it was dark, police were unable to verify their identities. Police described the attacks as being coordinated much like the Cologne attacks last year in which a group of men single out women, surround them and sexually assault them – a rape game known as “Taharrush” in the Middle East and North Africa.
In the Styrian capital of Graz a 26-year-old woman claimed to have been sexually attacked by two men. The woman was on her way home at 1:30 am when two men she described as 25 to 35-years-old and foreign-looking grabbed her buttocks and her genitals. She managed to outrun the pair and report the crime to local police in the centre of the city.
Before New Year’s Eve, Vienna authorities handed out over 6,000 “rape alarm” key chains to deter would-be attackers. It is unknown if these alarms were able to stop any sexual assaults, though the reported cases of sexual assault in the Austrian capital of Vienna were minimal with only three cases reported.