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Alleged Kidnap and rape of a peregrina (pilgrim has now admitted that this did not happen)

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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#1
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domigee

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018: 'Via Lemovicensis or maybe Via Francigena, again....
#2
I have just read this too and I am still in shock...
Dreadful news. She was walking from Finisterre back to Santiago. I'm horrified.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#3
That's awful and terrifying. Let's hope these guys are caught soon and held accountable for the evil they did.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#4
Note from the moderators whenever an incident is shared on the Forum:

(Note: this post in no way criticizes or evaluates the actions of the peregrina who suffered the traumatic incident related above):

There is continuing concern about incidents affecting female pilgrims. We reiterate the advice given by a number of pilgrim associations and the Spanish authorities:

Before you set out, programme the emergency number 112 into your telephone.

Consider downloading this App issued by the Spanish government:

https://alertcops.ses.mir.es/mialertcops/info/info.xhtml

The app allows anyone in Spain to send an alert from a mobile device "smartphone'"straight to the police..

If you feel threatened or uncomfortable or if you are assaulted in any way TRY TO REMOVE yourself to a place of safety immediately

Call the police – the best number to use is 112 which covers all of Spain (and much of Europe) and which has operators who speak English.

And please, please, REPORT all incidents to the police. Too many of these unlawful aggressions are never reported, which means that the full extent of the problem is hidden from the authorities.
 

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Robo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#7
What terrible News :(
If only the perpetrator could be caught and castrated!
 

joe french

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
from st jean, the complete st james's walk. 5 to 6 weeks
#9
As a Man Why do I feel ashamed of the male Species !!! The men who done this are disgusting. God help this poor girl, i hope she is gonna be okay, And please, all the female's out there, who will now worry about walking the Camino alone, don't Judge ALL us men like these Coward's. This makes me sick.....poor girl.
 

pitztop

Jim Carson
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014
2015
2017
#12
Truly horific! My heart goes out to this poor person and pray that she will somehow recover. Thank you natefaith for the information in you post above. I will spread the word to all my friends about the alertcops app and to report incidents to the police using 112. Let's get the word out to all our fellow pilgrims and perhaps between us we can prevent these atrocities from occuring ever again!
 

Bala

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Oct 2015, SJPdP-Burgos)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Santiago 2018)
#13
What an awful thing. This poor woman. I pray that she will be all right, emotionally and physically. And that the perpetrator/s be found and brought to justice quickly.
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#15
So much suffering! May this peregrina be surrounded by love and care at this difficult time. And may she have all the support she needs.
Whoever did this lost their humanity somewhere along the way. May they somehow get it back and spend the rest of their days finding a way to make up for causing so much pain.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Haven't walked the Camino yet. But I've hiked all over this beautiful planet and hope to walk the Camino in the near future.
#16
Such horrible news. My thoughts & heart go out to this woman. As a human being this makes me sick to my stomach. As a man it makes me mad as hell. I am an Uncle to a beautiful niece, and the brother to an amazing sister. Whenever i hear about violence of any kind against women, i immediately think of them and my blood begins to boil. These are insecure pathetic excuses of men who prey on women. One way or the other, they WILL face justice. Their time is up. The women they attack are not victims and are so much stronger than they will ever be.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Camino September 2017.
Planning Camino Primitivo May 2018.
#17
That’s so horrifying, God love her, I hope so much they catch the scumbags that did this, let her family then have a nice chat with them in a locked room for 10 minutes..bastards. Sorry, this makes me so angry, on the Portuguese way last year a couple of women I walked with for a while got flashed and roared at by some d**khead, they were really in shock. I’m planning on heading off myself alone now in May to do Primotivo and hearing this kind of thing makes me very afraid..it won’t stop me though. Thinking of carrying a small knife/pepper spray with me, somewhere I could access it quickly if I needed to.. Obviously the best thing is to get away if you can but in a situation where you can’t.... :/
 

JanelMcB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2018)
#18
I hope that the police find these animals quickly and they are brought to justice.
Just food for thought -- animals never behave as poorly as humans. To refer to these men as animals is an insult to the animal kingdom. I know it is common to refer to such humans as animals, but animals would never engage in such deplorable behavior. Animals kill to protect young, eat, and protect territory. The only species that harasses and kills for sport is human. I cringe every time I hear people being referred to as animals when the human has done something truly horrible.
 

mai

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF in April 2018.
#19
Hope this woman will recover soon, best wishes for her.

Thank natefaith for the information for emergency call.
Besides, I think a powerful whistle will be helpful to call people around for rescue oneself immediately. I find some whistles installed with backpacks is not good. Had better check it at home, if not, buy a whistle with strong sound. Also it’s better to have a whistle before your chest which may be easier to take it to blow instantly if emergency occurs.

mai
 

SLOChick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May or September (2018)
#20
Pepper Spray/mace can not be transported in flight. Are there places we can purchase them upon landing, I arrive in Paris yet fly again to Barritz.
Will rethink a way to keep my Swiss Army knife more accessable.
 

nutalia

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Primitivo (April-May 2018)
#21
That’s so horrifying, God love her, I hope so much they catch the scumbags that did this, let her family then have a nice chat with them in a locked room for 10 minutes..bastards. Sorry, this makes me so angry, on the Portuguese way last year a couple of women I walked with for a while got flashed and roared at by some d**khead, they were really in shock. I’m planning on heading off myself alone now in May to do Primotivo and hearing this kind of thing makes me very afraid..it won’t stop me though. Thinking of carrying a small knife/pepper spray with me, somewhere I could access it quickly if I needed to.. Obviously the best thing is to get away if you can but in a situation where you can’t.... :/
Am thinking of carrying a small knife or pepper spray as well. Thanks to a poster earlier in the thread, I've saved the emergency number of Spain in my cellphone and have also downloaded the police app.
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#24
The physical recovery will be the smallest part.... the emotional recovery from such a trauma may well need professional help.

And she was 50 years old. If anyone thought it was only young women who get attacked, think again.
Indeed. And two men. So even one solo male pilgrim could be a victim in this case.
 
Camino(s) past & future
June,2017 - Astorga to Santiago
Planning St. Jean PdP July, 2018
#25
Just food for thought -- animals never behave as poorly as humans. To refer to these men as animals is an insult to the animal kingdom. I know it is common to refer to such humans as animals, but animals would never engage in such deplorable behavior. Animals kill to protect young, eat, and protect territory. The only species that harasses and kills for sport is human. I cringe every time I hear people being referred to as animals when the human has done something truly horrible.
I agree with you and have changed it. Sorry.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 2015
#26
My thoughts and prayers go out to the peregrine.
All pilgrims should be able to feel safe walking the camino, it really shames me as a male to think that someone of my gender can do such a thing.
I was afraid one morning after leaving Astorga alone. I waited on the steps of the Albergue for escort. Two very kind gentlemen allowed me to walk with them until I felt safe. They also bought me coffee. I thank all gentlemen who see a "solo" woman and help her to a group. Knights of Templar.
 

Mito

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2011, 2013) Roncesvalles to Belorado
CLeP (2013) - Le Puy to ?
CF (March 2018) Belorado onward!
#27
This is horrifying and demoralizing and so, so sad. I feel terrible for the poor woman that this happened to. It could have been any of us. I have hiked the Camino alone and have never been harassed, but there have been a few isolated areas near roads that have made me pick up my pace. I am hiking again in a few weeks and will carry a whistle, pepper spray (if I can find it), and my phone with the police app. How sad that this amazing journey --- one of the few in the world that a woman could feel safe hiking alone --- has been tainted by these horrible men. But I'm going anyway. I'm 63 and there is no way these &*^%^ will run my life.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#29
These reports, (thankfully very few) are a source of great fear and doubt for those women who are planning and preparing to walk a camino route solo.

The forum members have long suggested that women walk with others....or if solace is desired...walk with others in sight or at least nearby. It is not necessary to walk along side of others and engage in conversation if not desired.

I have, many times, offered solo women to join with me or a small group. I have also made a point of keeping track of solo walkers. It is an easy thing to do and need not be overt or even discussed.
I recall once on the Norte that I noticed a few folks referring to me as a Camino Angel. I was baffled as I was simply walking alone and really not interacting with anyone much. I certainly was not aware of anything that was out of the ordinary.
Later I learned that it was started by 2 separate solo women who I had, out of habit, kept an eye on but walked a distance in front of them. I would look back and insure they took the right turns whenever there was a fork of any kind. One of them was "confused and lost" when she first saw me and was following me. She was having a hard time keeping up and was relieved each time she saw me waiting and looking back in the distance. The other had heard disturbing stories and was very fearful of walking in the lonely spots.

I was probably lucky they did not report me as a pervert. ;)
My point is that, unknown to me , I was performing a simple act of kindness that was very important to the peregrinas who were stressed. I never talked to either one.

Ladies.....do not hesitate to ask to walk with others. If you really want to walk alone....just ask another pilgrim that you would like to keep them in sight while walking that day or days.
I can assure you that it will be received in the best of ways.

Be brave and safe!
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#31
This is awful and terrifying for us women that want to do the Camino solo. I am glad that she survived this horrible attack and hope that they catch and punish the rapists.
Welcome to the forum.
Keep your plans and don't let these dirt bags deter you.
Simply add the precaution to insure you are very aware of your surroundings and that you attempt to keep others near enough to call upon if needed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
1st camino, & solo camino: April 9-May 14, 2018 with the Camino Portuguese (Lisbon to SdC)
#32
My thoughts and prayers are with the woman involved in this horiffic incident.

This is not the type of story I was expecting to hear right before starting my first camino, and solo Camino this April. I have gone through a mix of emotions of excitement to being scared (after seeing some previous forum posts about safety issues for peregrinas).

Does anyone know of an emergency # to be used in Portugal?

I really really hope that I can run into any/some pilgrims (male/female) leaving from Lisbon around April 11th!
Feeling anxious as a soon-to-be-Solo-Peregrina walking the Camino Portuguese (Lisbon to SdC)

from Toronto, Canada
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
#33
Welcome to the forum.
Keep your plans and don't let these dirt bags deter you.
Simply add the precaution to insure you are very aware of your surroundings and that you attempt to keep others near enough to call upon if needed.
Amen to that.

Walk on women walk on.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Donating Member
#35
As the camino continues to soar in popularity, sadly these incidents increase and the real world intrudes into our camino bubble. I cannot imagine the horror and pain this woman must have felt and continues to feel no doubt. As others have said, it may be a very long road to full recovery and if I were a praying person I would pray for her.

I think it is inevitable for our thoughts to turn quickly to ourselves and what this incident means for us personally. I hope that women can resist the urge to panic and fall into irrational fear, but if you are gripped by fear, you should not set out alone. The camino is still one of the safest places in the world, that's one of the reasons why these incidents shock us so, but walking in fear is not going to bring you the peace and joy that the camino is holding out to you and waiting for you to seize.
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
#36
Horrible. Horrible.
It is a shame that one cannot walk their dream and such happens!

More details of this horrible event will come out.

This brings back memories of Denise.

All of you out there --- >>>> if walking alone and do not feel safe, get a partner!
Even if that partner is slow. Get another walker to walk with you.
 

Sailor

Lifetime Membership Cardholder
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2017) Frances (2018)
#37
What a coincidence!

I have followed Mister Stephen's situation reports and last week he met some ladies from Venezuela in Palas del Rei, he gave one of them one of his walking poles [she was attacked by a dog].

See replies #57 and #58 on this link:
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/estella-to-los-arcos.52261/#post-582401

To all caminantes, be on the lookout, y que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.

p.s. I don't know if there is a relation here, just a coincidence.
 

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014 Camino Frances
2015 Camino Frances
2016 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
#38
This is a terrible and horrific event and one that no woman will ever fully recover from. Physically yes, but mentally a long and difficult road to recovery.
It is sad that most countries don't allow trained and qualified individuals to carry a means of self protection on their person.
I am not sure how we ever agreed to give up the essential right to be able to protect ourselves against a horrible act like this.
The police will never be there to protect you when you need it most, at best they can help deal with the aftermath if you are fortunate enough to survive.
Very sad that we don't have any legal means for self protection.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Camino September 2017.
Planning Camino Primitivo May 2018.
#42
I'm a woman. I hike alone and, yes, sometimes I am afraid. Nonetheless, I don't advocate "arming" hikers. Let's not go down that road, huh? Those of us from the States knows where that road leads. And it's not to safety.
It's not ideal I agree, but if someone decided to try to attack me while walking alone I'd rather have a pepper spray handy than nothing at all.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#43
The Camino de Santiago is not Disneyland. Violent crime happens here, very rarely. This does not justify carrying weapons with you on the trail. This is a place of peace and unity, not fear and suspicion. Anyone who brings pepper spray or other weapons to my home will be asked to leave.
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
#44
May I respectfully ask that we keep focused on this horrible incident and lady.

And not turning this thread into a gun rights debate. or, a right to carry debate.
or, arm walkers with guns debate. I see no good in discussing guns now.

Such discussions always go down a big rat hole.

Wouldn't it be better to offer real life advice to other walkers on how to be safe. How to contact police. How to solicit others to walk with them. And most importantly NOT to give up their dreams when something like this happens?

There are evil people in this world. Always has been and always will be.

If we stop our dreams because of such evil, then evil has won.

My heart and feelings go out to this lady and her family.

Hopefully, soon the evil person(s) who did this will be brought to justice.
 

Phil W

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Melide, May-early July 2016,
Back to the Camino, 2017
#45
Praying for this lady, a fellow pilgrim.
I recall once on the Norte that I noticed a few folks referring to me as a Camino Angel.
Grayland, thank you for doing this as unobtrusively as you could. This is evidence of the spirit I found on the Camino, pilgrims helping others.

Phil
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#46
As a Man Why do I feel ashamed of the male Species !!! The men who done this are disgusting. God help this poor girl, i hope she is gonna be okay, And please, all the female's out there, who will now worry about walking the Camino alone, don't Judge ALL us men like these Coward's. This makes me sick.....poor girl.
I personally feel no condemnation of me as a male, nor feel it is a general indictment of anyone except the vile and evil individuals who commit such crimes. I join in prayer for this poor woman. Fortunately this event is the rare exception and not the rule for Camino.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
#48
I am very sorry to hear that this happened, and I hope that the woman who was attacked is able to recover and heal from this horrible, unfair assault. I don't know what else to say.

Honestly, I learned when I was about fourteen that some people are inherently evil. The evil young man who took terrible advantage of me, when I was just a kid, went on to murder his own father in a state park about thirty miles away. He has been in State Prison ever since.

Knowing that evil exists is one thing. Responding to it is another. I choose to take up space in as safe a place as I can, and sometimes my hikes and journeys and bike rides put me in less-than-perfect situations.

I did get grabbed in Leon, and pushed back. Things did not go far. I will say that a sexual assault is very demeaning, and I hope that the woman can do what she can to get the perpetrators punished, and get some counselling and then move on and try to take good care of herself for awhile. She is blessed and loved by us, and we pilgrims know that we are never going to be perfectly safe. It is, sadly, part of the human condition that evil exists in the world. We mostly choose to notice and love the good, but for sure, program your phones and be safe--as you go out to spread goodwill.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
C. de Salvador/Primitivo (2018)
#49
I won't let this event create fear in me or deter me from walking alone, which I love to do. However, it does support my sense that one should probably be wary of being approached by men in cars. Only once on the Camino did I feel slightly uncomfortable about a car that was traveling slowly near me, and I simply turned and walked back the other direction. It is much more likely that the car was having mechanical problems or they were traveling slowly for another reason, but it was easy for me to avoid them. I would say that one should not feel obligated to approach a car, even if the driver is calling you over, asking for directions or whatever. Unfortunate that we have to be that way, but being careful does not mean that we have to be fearful.

Some years ago, I was held up at gunpoint when I worked in a store in my home town and was left tied up on the floor in the back. Took me a bit of time to recover from that, but I did. I wasn't assaulted like this woman was, and I hope she is doing okay and getting the support she needs. Terrible thing to go through.. I can't imagine it.

But I refuse to let individual accounts dictate how I lead my life. I know so many parents who won't let their children play outside unsupervised because of individual, uncommon crime reports they have heard. I'm glad I grew up differently and got to spend most of my youth roaming the woods and pastures freely, without adult supervision. There are always risks, but there are so many opportunities for wonder and loveliness, it would be a real shame to give it all up and choose live in fear.
 

Trude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais 2013 Finnestere, Muxia 2013, 2017
Norte 2014, Francais, 2015, 2016, VDLP 2017
#50
This is horrifying and demoralizing and so, so sad. I feel terrible for the poor woman that this happened to. It could have been any of us. I have hiked the Camino alone and have never been harassed, but there have been a few isolated areas near roads that have made me pick up my pace. I am hiking again in a few weeks and will carry a whistle, pepper spray (if I can find it), and my phone with the police app. How sad that this amazing journey --- one of the few in the world that a woman could feel safe hiking alone --- has been tainted by these horrible men. But I'm going anyway. I'm 63 and there is no way these &*^%^ will run my life.
Good on you.....know how far away other pilgrims are and stay alert.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#51
As a man it is almost impossible for me to comprehend what being the victim of such a crime could be like.
So awful...unimaginably cruel....
Like other men here, the feeling of shame on my gender is certainly there and strong.
But I take your point @davebugg

I take heart in the comments and resolve of so many strong women on this Forum.........

Let's all look out for each other out there.
And give thanks that these incidents are rare on the Camino.........
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
C. de Salvador/Primitivo (2018)
#52
Just wanted to add a quote I liked by Northern Laurie in another thread: "To me, the risks of regret and reduced well being are far greater risks then the risks associated with the doing the activities that I love and am called to do. "
Right on.
 

Nanc

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
#53
There had been some incidents reported on the CF after Astorga. I traveled mostly on my own at a fast clip and left in the predawn hours due to another anticipated 36c day. As I left on my own , my conscience spoke to me that it wasn’t the wisest safest choice
I soon ran into a young Korean pilgrim traveling by herself who expressed some uncertainty and I could not leave her at risk. So I slowed my walk till later in the morning when the sun was up and more pilgrims shared the Way. After making sure she was ok, I took my leave

I learned a beautiful lesson of a slower pace in company . It was a moment in time shared.
and I’m not sure who saved whom
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#54
As a man it is almost impossible for me to comprehend what being the victim of such a crime could be like.
So awful...unimaginably cruel....
Like other men here, the feeling of shame on my gender is certainly there and strong.
But I take your point @davebugg

I take heart in the comments and resolve of so many strong women on this Forum.........

Let's all look out for each other out there.
And give thanks that these incidents are rare on the Camino.........
Well, my point was that individuals commit evil, not genders. As a man, Jack the Ripper did not represent 'men', he represented himself. A female school teacher compromising a male student is not an indictment of females, only herself. Simply because one member of a group -- be it a gender, a race, or an ethnicity -- commits bad things doesn't mean that the entire group is behaviorally inclined. I think of that as stereotyping, which I soundly reject. And so I feel no need to feel shame for my gender because of the behavior of an evil being.

For my part, what this crime informs me, is that while on Camino it is important for the strong, regardless of gender, to be watchful over the weak.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Camino September 2017.
Planning Camino Primitivo May 2018.
#55
The Camino de Santiago is not Disneyland. Violent crime happens here, very rarely. This does not justify carrying weapons with you on the trail. This is a place of peace and unity, not fear and suspicion. Anyone who brings pepper spray or other weapons to my home will be asked to leave.
I agree, it’s not Disneyland, the Camino is not a magic road, it is the same as anywhere. And I think if someone feels safer carrying some form of defence, then that’s their choice. Don’t like it?.. Don’t do it. Doing so doesn’t mean the Camino is then a ‘place of fear and suspicion’ for them. I walked alone last year and at by myself and at another point myself and a companion had bad experiences/scares. It didn’t colour my Camino experience and it’s one of the best things I ever did..I didn’t have anything then and wouldn’t have ever dreamt of it, I’m the least aggressive person you’d ever meet and have never ‘armed’ myself with so much as a paper clip.. However, reading what happened to this poor woman does make me think twice about my upcoming solo Primitivo, and I think that’s ok. I respect yours and others choices, and I expect mine to be too, or at least not be judged. I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, we all deal with fear/threat in our own way. Thinking still this morning of the peregrino and sending her healing and love. Unimaginably awful thing to happen.
 

SeattleJen

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First time pilgrim and walking solo. Leaving SJDP around April 5, 2018.
#56
My own personal safety is the number one issue my friends and family have with me walking the camino solo this April. I've been reassuring everyone I will be fine and not to worry ("I'm a city girl, an Amazon woman, and have no fear" I proclaim loudly while puffing my chest out).

This news gives me... pause.

Thank you for the emergency number and the app. Love and light to the victim.
 
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HedaP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#57
I am so sorry this happened to a fellow pilgrim, male or female. Like Denise, she will be in my thoughts for a long time.
Walk strong and walk safe, pilgrims.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Camino September 2017.
Planning Camino Primitivo May 2018.
#58
My own personal safety is the number one issue my friends and family have with me walking the camino solo this April. I've been reassuring everyone I will be fine and not to worry ("I'm a city girl, an Amazon woman, and have no fear" I proclaim loudly while puffing my chest out).

This news gives me... pause.

Thank you for the emergency number and the app. Love and light to the victim.
It has given me pause for thought too, though I’m pretty sure I’ll still go.. Last year if it was a particularly dark/lonely/both stretch, I’d wait until I knew someone was at least a minute or two ahead or behind me, felt much safer that way.
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Finisterre/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte and hopefully many more.
#59
I saw this post last night and felt such deep sadness. I can't imagine how awful this was for the poor woman - she is very much in my thoughts.

To those planning their first Camino - it's understandable that this incident may cause you to feel apprehensive or nervous. I'm an experienced walker and a long standing member of this forum, but this really upset me too and led me to (briefly) question the merits and risks of walking alone. Thankfully I was able to regain a sense of perspective. I reminded myself that I regularly walk through cities at night and I run on lots of solitary routes at home. Statistically, I'm much more likely to be harmed in those places than on any Camino path. I take sensible precautions, but I hope that I never lose my basic trust in other people or my sense of adventure.

If you're overcome by fear and dread about walking the Camino, then this might not be the right time for you to walk. If you feel nervous about walking alone, choose one of the busier routes and you should have no difficulty finding company when you need it, or staying within sight of other pilgrims. And don't ignore your gut feelings about the people you meet or walk with. Just like at home, 'stranger-danger' might be our biggest fear, but it probably isn't the greatest danger.

I hope we can remember that this isn't simply a gender issue. Men have also been victims of violent crime on the Camino. I feel sad when the good men of this forum feel ashamed by the actions of other men - we should all be united in our compassion for the victim and our horror at her fate. To be honest, I also get a little annoyed by posts that imply that women are weak or in need of chivalrous protection. I know that these posts are sincere and well-intended, but they feel a little out of step with the sprit of equality that for me, has been an important part of my Caminos. We're a diverse and supportive tribe of pilgrims - let's continue to embrace that.

Peace, love and happy walking to all.
 
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Mito

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2011, 2013) Roncesvalles to Belorado
CLeP (2013) - Le Puy to ?
CF (March 2018) Belorado onward!
#60
Thank you to everyone --- men and women alike --- who have compassion for this unfortunate victim and recognize that sometimes we are all vulnerable. Thank you in advance to all those "angels" who will wait for me, walk with me, watch out for me and all others who are compromised by health, gender, or fear. The Camino is an experience with good and bad days, good and bad people, and the trials and unpredictability of any difficult journey. Use your intuition and find another pilgrim to walk with or near you if you feel uncomfortable. And offer that comfort to any pilgrim who needs it. Isn't that what we do (or should do) in life anyway? Buen Camino!
 

stgcph

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Aug/Sep 2017)
#61
I saw this post last night and felt such deep sadness. I can't imagine how awful this was for the poor woman - she is very much in my thoughts.

To those planning their first Camino - it's understandable that this incident may cause you to feel apprehensive or nervous. I'm an experienced walker and a long standing member of this forum, but this really upset me too and led me to (briefly) question the merits and risks of walking alone. Thankfully I was able to regain a sense of perspective. I reminded myself that I regularly walk through cities at night and I run on lots of solitary routes at home. Statistically, I'm much more likely to be harmed in those places than on any Camino path. I take sensible precautions, but I hope that I never lose my basic trust in other people or my sense of adventure.

If you're overcome by fear and dread about walking the Camino, then this might not be the right time for you to walk. If you feel nervous about walking alone, choose one of the busier routes and you should have no difficulty finding company when you need or, or staying within sight of other pilgrims. And don't ignore your gut feelings about the people you meet or walk with. Just like at home, 'stranger-danger' might be our biggest fear, but it probably isn't the greatest risk.

I hope we can remember that this isn't simply a gender issue. Men have also been victims of violent crime on the Camino. I feel sad when the good men of this forum feel ashamed by the actions of other men - we should all be united in our compassion for the victim and our horror at her fate. To be honest, I also get a little annoyed by posts that imply that women are weak or in need of chivalrous protection. I know that these posts are sincere and well-intended, but they feel a little out of step with the sprit of equality that for me, has been an important part of my Caminos. We're a diverse and supportive tribe of pilgrims - let's continue to embrace that.

Peace, love and happy walking to all.
I too feel very sorry for the victim of this crime, which should never have happened.

I also think that it is nice to see a post that is well balanced and sensible in this stream of male-gender-hostile messages advocating use of weapons and even castration.

Though I haven’t done an actual statistical analysis I assume, that walking a camino is probably safer than doing a training walk in your city neighborhood.

That said, it goes without saying, that just one single incident like this one, is one too many and that all should be done on all levels to prevent such incidents in the future.
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
#63
The Court of Ordes takes over the investigation into the rape of a peregrina in Val do Dubra

Investigators don't rule out that two men might be involved.

The Court number 2 in Ordes is investigating the case concerning the possible kidnapping and subsequent rape of a peregrina while she was on the Camino to Santiago de Compostela when she was in Val do Dubra, according to sources of the Guardia Civil.

The Judicial Police continues to investigate this case in which two men may be involved.

The investigators are working on analysing the statements and data provided by the forensic report, as well as trying to locate the car in which the victim was taken.

According to their first information, the pilgrim, of Venezuelan nationality, left Fisterra to go to Santiago de Compostela. After travelling some twenty kilometres from the starting point, she would have been kidnapped by two men, who put her in a car and moved her to a vacant lot in the municipality of Val do Dubra, A Coruña, where she would have been raped and subsequently abandoned.


https://www.elprogreso.es/articulo/...iolacion-peregrina/201802052228191293920.html

According to various other sources, the woman is receiving psychiatric care.
The Consulate of Venezuela in Vigo is assisting in identifying her
The timeline of events remains unclear. The peregrina would have left Fisterra to walk back to SdC. After walking 3 hours she would have been near Cee, where she was assaulted by two men. From Cee to Val do Dubra (not on the Camino) is approximately 60 kms. She was found in the early hours of the morning.
 
#64
Was the peregrina walking on the main road in/near Cee? Or was this a remote area? I haven't read the article as it is in Spanish. Snatched from the road? It is possible she asked for a lift or directions? It is a demanding uphill stretch from Finesterre and I assume she would be more weary given that she already made a pilgrimage (perhaps from St Jean Pied du Port).

Rape is ugly and violent and is fuelled by hatred and disrespect.
Prayers and blessings and the grace of goodness, the grace of God, to flow in and around this peregrina.
And blessed be the Camino de Santiago de Compostela
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
#65
Was the peregrina walking on the main road in/near Cee? Or was this a remote area? I haven't read the article as it is in Spanish. Snatched from the road? It is possible she asked for a lift or directions? It is a demanding uphill stretch from Finesterre and I assume she would be more weary given that she already made a pilgrimage (perhaps from St Jean Pied du Port).

Rape is ugly and violent and is fuelled by hatred and disrespect.
Prayers and blessings and the grace of goodness, the grace of God, to flow in and around this peregrina.
And blessed be the Camino de Santiago de Compostela

Much remains unclear about what happened. It has been advised to treat the news with caution and await the results of the police investigation. It has not been confirmed that she was near Cee, this is an inference given that she would have told that she had walked 3 hours from Fisterra.

http://www.lavanguardia.com/vida/20...denunciada-por-una-peregrina-en-a-coruna.html

The Guardia Civil continues the investigations to clarify an alleged violation denounced this weekend by a pilgrim of Venezuelan nationality in the municipality of Val do Dubra (A Coruña).

Europa Press has been informed by sources close to the investigation that the investigators try to verify the information provided by the woman, since, due to the state to which she arrived at the hospital, there were contradictions in her statement.

However, the same sources consulted have commented that it is "normal" that there were "inconsistencies" in her statements due to the state of anxiety and severe hypothermia that she was in.

The events were reported in the early hours of Saturday morning to Sunday before the Guardia Civil de Santiago. The investigation is being conducted by the Investigation Court Number 2 of Ordes.

The reported events allegedly took place on the weekend when the pilgrim of Venezuelan origin covered the stretch between Fisterra and Santiago de Compostela. Following the report, a unit of the Women-Minor Team (Emume) of the Judicial Police of La Coruña has proceeded to investigate the complaint.
 
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#66
I am most pleased to hear that this victim, a Sister of the Camino, is being very well cared for by Spain and her Consulate (Venezuela). Prayers for her, first. The comments by Police Officer Jose Seixo are also most heartening.

Prayers are also for the assailants, to know their indiscretion, to confess and turn themselves in. As wrong as their acts are, it is right to surrender. I say this as they are as human as all of us. It will provide a sense of closure to the victim as well.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Camino (2016), French Camino (2015), Northern Camino (2017)
#69
La Voz de Galicia is reporting the kidnapping and rape of a Venezuelan peregrina on the route to Finisterre. After being driven some way she was then dumped naked at the roadside. An appalling brutal act.

https://www.lavozdegalicia.es/notic...n-desnuda-val-do-dubra/0003_201802G4P9998.htm
That is horrible :mad: The Camino is safe, but you should always make sure to walk with people and follow the signs. That applies not only to the camino but anywhere in the world...
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Donating Member
#71
Dear all,

It has been quiet on this topic over the last few days since the police are still investigating what happened.

But a few things have come up that I wanted to report on. I will keep the thread closed since anything else we can say would be speculations, but I thought I still would let you all know.

This is a news report from the ABC newspaper from Wednesday:
http://www.abc.es/espana/galicia/ab...ina-camino-santiago-201802071138_noticia.html

The report of two alleged crimes of kidnapping and rape that a female pilgrim filed last weekend before the Guardia Civil is plagued with "gaps" and "inconsistencies" as sources close to the case have informed this newspaper. According to the story of the 50-year-old woman, a Venezuelan national, two men approached her while she was on the way back between Fisterra and the Galician capital, when she had already travelled some 20 kilometres. The incident she tells about happened, supposedly at dawn. After forcing her into the vehicle and tearing off her clothes to rape her, the woman was abandoned in an isolated spot in Val do Dubra, where she asked for help at a house.

In her complaint, the woman explained that she did not know the men and that while one of them was driving in hasty fashion, the other one tore her clothes off in the back seat, where she was held by force. However, the agents have not yet been able to make sense of this version, so they will submit the story to a reconstruction to evaluate it. The case is currently in the hands of Instruction Court Number 2 of the Ordes. On the subject of the complaint, the Government delegate already indicated last weekend that the case had to be taken "with all the caution of the world" when revealing that the woman is under psychiatric treatment. It is also striking that the woman was doing the Camino alone, at dawn and during a storm in the area.

...another one from el Correo Gallego:
http://www.elcorreogallego.es/area-...-cero/idEdicion-2018-02-07/idNoticia-1098525/

An investigation that has started from scratch

The denouncement of the alleged Pilgrim who claims to have been kidnapped and raped presents many shadows. It has been shown that she was not staying in the hotel she had indicated or in any of the region. She is still without documentation. An aggressive attack on the agents ended up with her being examined by specialists and admitted to Psychiatry.

The Guardia Civil came last Friday night at the request of a resident of Val do Dubra. A naked woman had appeared who claimed to be a female pilgrim abducted near Cee and released in a vacant lot near Portomouro, in Cebei, parish of St. Roman, after being raped by two men. Immediately the alarms went off and an investigation began that almost from the first moment found more shadows than lights. Without ruling out any of the crimes, the investigations start from scratch and try to follow the woman's steps to verify the veracity of the report.

1 The woman declares that she left Fisterra for Cee to cover the Jacobean route in reverse. She says she walked for two to three hours and it was then that two men put her in a vehicle and left her naked in Val do Dubra after raping her. But the villagers called the Guardia Civil at four o' clock in the morning, when she asked for their help. Starting from the assumption that pilgrims don't usually walk at night, especially on very cold days, what time did she leave Fisterra? How long was she in the car?

2 It is true that a naked woman on the street at four o' clock in the morning after being detained against her will is not in a position to report the facts, but the data provided on the vehicle and the two men were very unclear. Are there really so few clues to follow the trail of potential kidnappers and rapists?

As this adds some doubts, I will change the title of the thread and add "Alleged..." to it. Once the police have more to report, I will add it here.

All the best,
Ivar
 
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