Women-only ‘safe zones’ to be introduced for New Year’s Eve in Berlin

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Women-only 'safe zones' to be introduced for New Year's Eve in Berlin
Women-only safe zones to be introduced for New Year’s Eve in Berlin (Picture: Rex)

Organisers of New Year’s Eve celebrations in Berlin this year are setting up a ‘safe zone’ for women for the first time ever.

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The new security measures are being enforced by the Brandenburg Gate party following concerns about sexual assaults.

It comes after dozens of women were sexually assaulted and robbed at Cologne’s New Year’s Eve celebrations two years ago.

Women reported being attacked by men from migrant backgrounds.

Women-only 'safe zones' to be introduced for New Year's Eve in Berlin
The assaults called into question the rise in refugees and migrants entering Germany in 2015 after fleeing violence in Syria and Iraq. (Picture: Oliver Berg/DPA)

The assaults called into question the rise in refugees and migrants entering Germany in 2015 after fleeing violence in Syria and Iraq.

Thousands of people are expected to attend New Year’s Eve celebrations in Berlin regardless of the previous attacks.

Strict security measures will be enforced for example large bags, such as rucksacks, and alcoholic drinks will be banned at the Brandenburg Gate.

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Women-only 'safe zones' to be introduced for New Year's Eve in Berlin
Police stand in front of Cologne Main Station in Cologne, Germany, 05 January 2016. (Picture: Maruis Becker/DPA)

Any woman that has been assaulted or feels harassed will be able to get support at a special ‘safety zone’, which will be monitored by the German Red Cross, on Ebertstrasse.

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Police have also advised women to seek help if they feel threatened and to not bring valuables to the celebrations.

But some say it does not tackle the real problem which is the perpetrators of sexual violence and others say it is discriminatory.

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