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Assault near Lisbon on the Portugués

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
As I think anyone reading this thread already knows, there was a violent attack on the Caminho Portugues last week. This thread explains the details.

There are many moving pieces, with different endeavors ongoing to document and report. I do not speak for AB, but I know that she is determined to have her voice heard. At this point, the Caminho Associations in Portugal are marshalling evidence to denounce the current situation (both in terms of police protection and police indifference in light of reported crimes), not just on behalf of AB, but on behalf of pilgrims and the caminho generally. In that regard, they would very much like to hear from any pilgrim who has experienced any assault or harassment while walking on the Caminho Portugues, particularly in the area between Sacavém and Alverca. The Associations understand that individuals may not want to reveal their identity, or may not want to communicate directly with them. So... I have agreed to be the “go between” for anyone who would like to respond. Please feel free to contact me via the PM (“start a conversation”) function.

I also am confident that there will be an opportunity for forum members to voice their support of these efforts and perhaps sign on to a formal complaint, but as I have pointed out, this is all still very much in the initial stages, so stay tuned and be patient.

With hope that we can contribute to making the caminho a safer place, Laurie
 

Lexicos

Jim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
2017
Camino Portuguese 2019
Please count me in for a petition, signature, statement of complaint or any other support or assistance I can provide. The lack of action by the police is appalling.

What the police should have done, as a minimum, is to take two formal victim statements, both signed by the victims and witnessed by the police officer(s) and given of copy to each of the victims. They should have also obtained medical reports for treatment received and put these on record too,. The apparent dereliction of duty is staggering, given the seriousness of the alleged offence and that there are allegedly multiple victims. They should also have gone and photographed the scene of the assault and taken any bloodied soil and vegetation samples and searched the area for a knife and footprints.
Clearly, they couldn’t have cared less. Shameful conduct considering the seriousness of the offenses.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I also am confident that there will be an opportunity for forum members to voice their support of these efforts and perhaps sign on to a formal complaint,
Whenever that happens, I'm in!
Laurie, heartfelt thanks for being the nexus between us and those who are in a better position to do something to improve the situation.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Thank you Laurie and you are right it is early still. I have remembered over past years there seems to be more cases of men harassing, acting in a threatening manner and exposing themselves to female pilgrims at a higher rate than in Spain. Of course I have no knowledge if this is accurate it just seems to be reported on this forum of higher incidences in Portugal. This is so sad especially because in general the VAST number of Portugese people are about the warmest, friendliest, most helpful and generous people you will find anywhere.
I really hope the government on all levels begins to address this serious issue and takes positive steps to improve. They may not be able to stop the tragedy of violence against women but they can prevent the tragedy of how these women are treated, cared for and having a police force that protects all human beings regardless of their status or reason to be in Portugal.
 

Rex

One Step at a Time
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago (2013)
Lisboa to Santiago (2018)
via Francigena (1st Half ~ 6/2021)
Thank you for leading/coordinating the efforts on this issue. Our thoughts and prayers for all the victims and a pledge to sign petitions or help in any way we can to ensure the safety of those who come after us.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , Pamplona Burgos august 2018 Burgos to Santiago 19 /04 to 20/05/2019
As I think anyone reading this thread already knows, there was a violent attack on the Caminho Portugues last week. This thread explains the details.

There are many moving pieces, with different endeavors ongoing to document and report. I do not speak for AB, but I know that she is determined to have her voice heard. At this point, the Caminho Associations in Portugal are marshalling evidence to denounce the current situation (both in terms of police protection and police indifference in light of reported crimes), not just on behalf of AB, but on behalf of pilgrims and the caminho generally. In that regard, they would very much like to hear from any pilgrim who has experienced any assault or harassment while walking on the Caminho Portugues, particularly in the area between Sacavém and Alverca. The Associations understand that individuals may not want to reveal their identity, or may not want to communicate directly with them. So... I have agreed to be the “go between” for anyone who would like to respond. Please feel free to contact me via the PM (“start a conversation”) function.

I also am confident that there will be an opportunity for forum members to voice their support of these efforts and perhaps sign on to a formal complaint, but as I have pointed out, this is all still very much in the initial stages, so stay tuned and be patient.

With hope that we can contribute to making the caminho a safer place, Laurie
Thanks
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
While I loved walking the Portuguese route, on it was the only experience I've ever had on the Camino that could be construed as a criminal assault. I have related it before on another thread and in a nutshell it occurred on the central route two days out of Porto on a stretch in a semi wooded area. Middle aged man riding bicycle approaches me from ahead on the path and when even with me jumps off bicycle and makes contact with me. Talking to me in Portuguese, what appeared to be asking for money. Attempted to ignore him as he walked alongside. He suddenly grabs my left arm violently and turns me around at which time I toss the trekking poles and push him away and chase him off. He leaves and two more guys appear from same direction and stand there staring at me as I back away down the path, both trekking poles clenched in one hand in a defensive manner.
What the other two men's intent was is unknown. They appeared as soon as I chased off the first one. I can only assume the original intent was for all three to rob me after the first one distracted me. The whole thing to me was not police report worthy at the time, but I still wonder if they victimized anyone else. I hope not. I can only hope the foiled attempt with me shut them down for at least the day.
I relate this not to bash the Portuguese route but to simply remind future pilgrims to be aware. Reading these accounts of assaults concerns me very much.
 

Tracker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July (2014); Salkantay Trek (Peru), July 2016; Camino Portugues, June 2017
Not that I wish to cause harm to the reputation of Portugal or the decent Portuguese people, but I do find myself thinking that a coordinated global media strategy would be interesting, highlighting ESPECIALLY the shocking indifference of municipal governments and law enforcement with regard to these attacks. Portugal, like many other countries, makes a lot of money on tourist dollars (or Euros). If the general perception was implied through media reports - supported by eyewitness/victim accounts - that Portugal was becoming unsafe and the police were indifferent to the crimes, I'm guessing the national government would have to intervene and pressure the municipalities to get their act together. Of course this would take time, much international coordination, not to mention the cooperation of the media. I'm concerned about the increasing number of reports I'm seeing in this forum concerning violent attacks, but we do have a rather large, collective voice and NO ONE should have to suffer the indifference of authorities when crimes are committed on our persons. My two cents...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , Pamplona Burgos august 2018 Burgos to Santiago 19 /04 to 20/05/2019
While I loved walking the Portuguese route, on it was the only experience I've ever had on the Camino that could be construed as a criminal assault. I have related it before on another thread and in a nutshell it occurred on the central route two days out of Porto on a stretch in a semi wooded area. Middle aged man riding bicycle approaches me from ahead on the path and when even with me jumps off bicycle and makes contact with me. Talking to me in Portuguese, what appeared to be asking for money. Attempted to ignore him as he walked alongside. He suddenly grabs my left arm violently and turns me around at which time I toss the trekking poles and push him away and chase him off. He leaves and two more guys appear from same direction and stand there staring at me as I back away down the path, both trekking poles clenched in one hand in a defensive manner.
What the other two men's intent was is unknown. They appeared as soon as I chased off the first one. I can only assume the original intent was for all three to rob me after the first one distracted me. The whole thing to me was not police report worthy at the time, but I still wonder if they victimized anyone else. I hope not. I can only hope the foiled attempt with me shut them down for at least the day.
I relate this not to bash the Portuguese route but to simply remind future pilgrims to be aware. Reading these accounts of assaults concerns me very much.
Well... not sure I am 100% enthusiastic anymore about walking by my own end October from Porto to Santiago ...
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
We need a Camino App that includes all relevant “new” information on all the major routes. This App would have a feature allowing the user to send updates to the App maintenance team (for verification & updating the App) on criminal activity, bad experiences with law enforcement, accommodation closing/opening, route closing/opening etc… There are probably additional categories that would be worth tracking but this should be kept clean and simple and not delve into the subjective topics of where you were exposed to bed bugs, had a bad meal, got overcharged, found the bed uncomfortable or the host unfriendly.



A pulsating “heat” map for each major route, color coded for each alert type (red for criminal) (blue for route change) etc…with a link for more details would be ideal for pilgrims to check on daily. In the criminal activity category, those details should include the type of crime, exact location, style of assault, date of assault, police cooperation or professionalism, recommendation on skipping the section or how to travel through with less risk (walk in groups of 4), etc… Somehow, the map maintenance would need some rules about how long historical data was kept. A single criminal act 10 years ago does not necessarily make a section of a Camino unsafe. Crimes are committed by, people not places. People get caught, they move, die, marry, have children and these life situation changes may stop the criminal behavior. Police department professionalism and culture may be longer lasting thus adding risk to a location. The information should be out there for each pilgrim to make their own assessment of risk and to act accordingly for their own comfort based on factual data and the App recommendations.



Thankfully violent crime is rare on the Camino routes but one rape, murder or robbery is too many and requires some organized action by those who can make a difference. My thanks and appreciation go out to Ivar, the dedicated moderators and the victims who have bravely reported their experiences on this forum to help educate the rest of us.



During this past week I read the horrific account of these two women plus the experience of the European woman who suffered a brutal rape in the same area years ago. I was saddened and angered while reading the report and vicariously experiencing the fear, pain and trauma of these assaults. As a male, I too have been a victim of a violent crime (not on the Camino) requiring hospital care and additional follow up procedures but it did not involve the element of rape which I can only imagine takes the experience to whole new horrific level.



One of the things that brought me to tears while reading this tragic account of the assault relates to what these pilgrims were denied. A precious element of the Camino experience for me and I’m sure many others is the affirmation of the beautiful and healing humanity in this world. Sometimes it is hard to find that feeling or notice that beauty in the cities we live in. Each day, the Camino provides one example after another of people from all countries, cultures, religions, genders who are beautiful, fun, intelligent caring souls that uplift me like no other place or time I have experienced in my life. I yearn to return to this place where I feel embraced, cared for and loved by humanity. It brings me to tears when I realize these 3 women (and many others) did not leave their Camino with this precious gift. It brings me to tears when I realize these 3 women went home from their Camino traumatized. I am saddened to know they did not receive the precious gift I received. I pray there is a way for them to come back to the Camino to receive the gifts it offers.



I, and I’m sure many other able bodied men and women on this forum would be honored to help any of these victims of crime, who are understandably scared or apprehensive, to come back to another Camino. With this assurance, they could define a level of security that made them comfortable. That could mean walking side by side and staying in the same Albergue or Hotel each night or it could mean meeting up each morning, and walking 100 meters behind them for the whole Camino as a silent but close enough watch dog so we don’t interfere with their positive spontaneous Camino experiences.
 
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DreamHiker2

DreamHiker2
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2017; Camino Levante, Sanabres, Muxia & Finisterre May 2021
Please count me in for a petition, signature, statement of complaint or any other support or assistance I can provide. The lack of action by the police is appalling.

What the police should have done, as a minimum, is to take two formal victim statements, both signed by the victims and witnessed by the police officer(s) and given of copy to each of the victims. They should have also obtained medical reports for treatment received and put these on record too,. The apparent dereliction of duty is staggering, given the seriousness of the alleged offence and that there are allegedly multiple victims. They should also have gone and photographed the scene of the assault and taken any bloodied soil and vegetation samples and searched the area for a knife and footprints.
Clearly, they couldn’t have cared less. Shameful conduct considering the seriousness of the offenses.
Not to mention interviewing the garage owner/workers whom victims have run to over the last few years - this will also form part of the evidentiary timeline in which shows a history of the incidents as well. Count me in also for a signature for petition/support of the Caminho Assoc. Thanks @peregrina2000 for providing a valuable update on this situation.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Well... not sure I am 100% enthusiastic anymore about walking by my own end October from Porto to Santiago ...

If you stay at the albergue in Porto you should hopefully be able to find one or more people to walk with. At the moment there are not many pilgrims on the CP but enough to find a walking partner or two.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , Pamplona Burgos august 2018 Burgos to Santiago 19 /04 to 20/05/2019
Thanks!!
We need a Camino App that includes all relevant “new” information on all the major routes. This App would have a feature allowing the user to send updates to the App maintenance team (for verification & updating the App) on criminal activity, bad experiences with law enforcement, accommodation closing/opening, route closing/opening etc… There are probably additional categories that would be worth tracking but this should be kept clean and simple and not delve into the subjective topics of where you were exposed to bed bugs, had a bad meal, got overcharged, found the bed uncomfortable or the host unfriendly.



A pulsating “heat” map for each major route, color coded for each alert type (red for criminal) (blue for route change) etc…with a link for more details would be ideal for pilgrims to check on daily. In the criminal activity category, those details should include the type of crime, exact location, style of assault, date of assault, police cooperation or professionalism, recommendation on skipping the section or how to travel through with less risk (walk in groups of 4), etc… Somehow, the map maintenance would need some rules about how long historical data was kept. A single criminal act 10 years ago does not necessarily make a section of a Camino unsafe. Crimes are committed by, people not places. People get caught, they move, die, marry, have children and these life situation changes may stop the criminal behavior. Police department professionalism and culture may be longer lasting thus adding risk to a location. The information should be out there for each pilgrim to make their own assessment of risk and to act accordingly for their own comfort based on factual data and the App recommendations.



Thankfully violent crime is rare on the Camino routes but one rape, murder or robbery is too many and requires some organized action by those who can make a difference. My thanks and appreciation go out to Ivar, the dedicated moderators and the victims who have bravely reported their experiences on this forum to help educate the rest of us.



During this past week I read the horrific account of these two women plus the experience of the European woman who suffered a brutal rape in the same area years ago. I was saddened and angered while reading the report and vicariously experiencing the fear, pain and trauma of these assaults. As a male, I too have been a victim of a violent crime (not on the Camino) requiring hospital care and additional follow up procedures but it did not involve the element of rape which I can only imagine takes the experience to whole new horrific level.



One of the things that brought me to tears while reading this tragic account of the assault relates to what these pilgrims were denied. A precious element of the Camino experience for me and I’m sure many others is the affirmation of the beautiful and healing humanity in this world. Sometimes it is hard to find that feeling or notice that beauty in the cities we live in. Each day, the Camino provides one example after another of people from all countries, cultures, religions, genders who are beautiful, fun, intelligent caring souls that uplift me like no other place or time I have experienced in my life. I yearn to return to this place where I feel embraced, cared for and loved by humanity. It brings me to tears when I realize these 3 women (and many others) did not leave their Camino with this precious gift. It brings me to tears when I realize these 3 women went home from their Camino traumatized. I am saddened to know they did not receive the precious gift I received. I pray there is a way for them to come back to the Camino to receive the gifts it offers.



I, and I’m sure many other able bodied men and women on this forum would be honored to help any of these victims of crime, who are understandably scared or apprehensive, to come back to another Camino. With this assurance, they could define a level of security that made them comfortable. That could mean walking side by side and staying in the same Albergue or Hotel each night or it could mean meeting up each morning, and walking 100 meters behind them for the whole Camino as a silent but close enough watch dog so we don’t interfere with their spontaneous Camino experiences.
you absolutely define what is the Camino for me and for so many !!!!
‘Each day, the Camino provides one example after another of people from all countries, cultures, religions, genders who are beautiful, fun, intelligent caring souls that uplift me like no other place or time I have experienced in my life. I yearn to return to this place where I feel embraced, cared for and loved by humanity’
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Well... not sure I am 100% enthusiastic anymore about walking by my own end October from Porto to Santiago ...
Thousands of people walk from Porto to Santiago every year (except perhaps this one) without experiencing this kind of incident. Not to say it never happens; but it is very rare and your chance of encountering the same is extremely small. These rare incidents happen on all the routes and, as Anniesantiago notes, in most of our home towns as well. If you want to be perfectly safe, you'd never leave your house. (Especially now, for me, with covid numbers rising rapidly in my home town!) If you are going to be leaving your house and taking the risk, I don't think it is that much greater on the Camino Portugues north of Porto. You might as well walk and enjoy yourself.

All that said, I acknowledge I am speaking from a place of privilege and, were I a woman walking north from Lisbon, I would take all appropriate precautions.
 

Galloglaigh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), Old Way (2020), VFnS (2020), CP (rebooked) (2021), VdT (ToDo)
All that said, I acknowledge I am speaking from a place of privilege and, were I a woman walking north from Lisbon, I would take all appropriate precautions.

As a son, a brother, and a father I hope for the day when "precautions" appropriate or otherwise never need to be mentioned.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
If you stay at the albergue in Porto you should hopefully be able to find one or more people to walk with. At the moment there are not many pilgrims on the CP but enough to find a walking partner or two.
An alternative would be to take the metro to Povia de Varzim and start walking from there to avoid walking out through the outer reaches of Porto city. That's what I did albeit not alone - we were 2 peregrinas. We didn't have any bad experiences though when we did walk (June 2016) the coastal route was actually very quiet and remote in parts so personally i was glad not to be alone.
Having said that, my previous experience was the Frances where you are never really alone but i have since walked parts of the VDLP alone with no problems (nor fears in the my head)
 

Natcats

Veteran | author | graphic designer | walker
Camino(s) past & future
Chemin des Outaouais (2014)
Le Puy 1 of 2 (2015)
Le Puy 2 of 2 (2022)?
Camino Francés (2022)?
All that said, I acknowledge I am speaking from a place of privilege and, were I a woman walking north from Lisbon, I would take all appropriate precautions.
You mean like walking with someone as the victims did? Precautions were taken. It doesn't matter what women do. The police needed to do something *more* in this case, and that's the big push happening right now, and I applaud it. Let's not pretend women "taking precautions" will solve anything.
 

Natcats

Veteran | author | graphic designer | walker
Camino(s) past & future
Chemin des Outaouais (2014)
Le Puy 1 of 2 (2015)
Le Puy 2 of 2 (2022)?
Camino Francés (2022)?
As a son, a brother, and a father I hope for the day when "precautions" appropriate or otherwise never need to be mentioned.
Yes! And as a woman, always having to "take precautions" is tiring and frustrating. Women aren't the problem here. And I'm a fairly large gal who served in the army for a decade and a half, and I don't scare easy. It's scary out there for ladies, my dudes.
 

The Kolbist

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
past: Frances, inland Portuguese, Fatima
future: Del Norte, coastal Porugues, Englis
We walked from Lisbon to Fatima and then Porto to Santiago in 2016. There were 4 of us, 2 couples. The walk from Lisbon to Fatima was mostly done on a national highway and a bit dangerous if not for the hundreds of local portuguese doing their own pilgrimage towards Fatima. The only scare we experienced was when we got lost and was chased by huge guard dogs. That being said and I know a lot of forum members would smile at me when i said that another benefit of having trekking poles is for defensive purposes just like dogs or in the case above - people with bad intentions. For women pilgrims, may i suggest a pepper spray? Maybe you can buy that in Portugal when you get there? Dunno if that's possible and if it's legal to have it while walking in thos dangerous areas of CP. Please check with local laws before you decide to buy. but I agree with the comments that CP might take a hit on its rep on this. That is sad because when we walked, we found the Portuguese people to be the friendliest people on earth. The authorities need to apprehend these perps. It is for their own good otherwise if Portugal gets a bad rap from the tourists, it might not be good. Afterall, I believe Portugal's economy relies heavily on tourism. They should not let a few bad apples ruin the image of one of the most beautiful countries in Europe.
 
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SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
We walked from Lisbon to Fatima and then Porto to Santiago in 2016. There were 4 of us, 2 couples. The walk from Lisbon to Fatima was mostly done on a national highway and a bit dangerous if not for the hundreds of local portuguese doing their own pilgrimage towards Fatima. The only scare we experienced was when we got lost and was chased by huge guard dogs. That being said and I know a lot of forum members would smile at me when i said that another benefit of having trekking poles is for defensive purposes just like dogs or in the case above - people with bad intentions. For women pilgrims, may i suggest a pepper spray? Maybe you can buy that in Portugal when you get there? Dunno if that's possible but I agree with the comments that CP might take a hit on its rep on this. That is sad because when we walked, we found the Portuguese people to be the friendliest people on earth. The authorities need to apprehend these perps. It is for their own good otherwise if Portugal gets a bad rap from the tourists, it might not be good. Afterall, I believe Portugal's economy relies heavily on tourism. They should not let a few bad apples ruin the image of one of the most beautiful countries in Europe.


I will not use pepper spray myself because I will never use a weapon ( I will not elaborate seeing I do not want to violate the forumlaws ) and in my country it is illegal anyway.

If following link is still up to date pepper spray can only be obtained in Portugal with a permit.
 

The Kolbist

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
past: Frances, inland Portuguese, Fatima
future: Del Norte, coastal Porugues, Englis
I will not use pepper spray myself because I will never use a weapon ( I will not elaborate seeing I do not want to violate the forumlaws ) and in my country it is illegal anyway.

If following link is still up to date pepper spray can only be obtained in Portugal with a permit.

Thanks Sabine then it's not possible but I hope you understand that I only meant to have it as a deterrent for the women pilgrims then please ignore my comment.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
You mean like walking with someone as the victims did? Precautions were taken. It doesn't matter what women do. The police needed to do something *more* in this case, and that's the big push happening right now, and I applaud it. Let's not pretend women "taking precautions" will solve anything.
I apologize. I certainly acknowledge that all of the fault and responsibility is not with the victims and its was very far from my intent to imply otherwise. If that was what I was communicating, the fault is entirely mine.

At the risk of digging myself deeper, what I meant to imply in my response to someone who was concerned about walking north from Porto was that, while there is certainly a risk on any Camino, it seemed to me greater in an area (north of Lisbon) where we know attacks are going on now and are not being taken seriously.

I apologize if it came across as victim-blaming. Blaming the victims was not my intent.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , Pamplona Burgos august 2018 Burgos to Santiago 19 /04 to 20/05/2019
We walked from Lisbon to Fatima and then Porto to Santiago in 2016. There were 4 of us, 2 couples. The walk from Lisbon to Fatima was mostly done on a national highway and a bit dangerous if not for the hundreds of local portuguese doing their own pilgrimage towards Fatima. The only scare we experienced was when we got lost and was chased by huge guard dogs. That being said and I know a lot of forum members would smile at me when i said that another benefit of having trekking poles is for defensive purposes just like dogs or in the case above - people with bad intentions. For women pilgrims, may i suggest a pepper spray? Maybe you can buy that in Portugal when you get there? Dunno if that's possible and if it's legal to have it while walking in thos dangerous areas of CP. Please check with local laws before you decide to buy. but I agree with the comments that CP might take a hit on its rep on this. That is sad because when we walked, we found the Portuguese people to be the friendliest people on earth. The authorities need to apprehend these perps. It is for their own good otherwise if Portugal gets a bad rap from the tourists, it might not be good. Afterall, I believe Portugal's economy relies heavily on tourism. They should not let a few bad apples ruin the image of one of the most beautiful countries in Europe.
I spent Christmas 2020 in Portugal with my 25 yrs daughter , we had a wonderful time , the weather was very bad but Portuguese people bringing to us their sunny smiles and good heart .it was such a happy time which won’t be spoilt or forgotten
 

Natcats

Veteran | author | graphic designer | walker
Camino(s) past & future
Chemin des Outaouais (2014)
Le Puy 1 of 2 (2015)
Le Puy 2 of 2 (2022)?
Camino Francés (2022)?
I apologize if it came across as victim-blaming. Blaming the victims was not my intent.

And I apologize myself for reading your comment as flippant and victim-blaming when you didn't mean it that way. It's difficult to tell sometimes just reading on a screen.

I'm just frustrated to see the onus too often on the women to not be attacked, like we can do anything about it. It's like saying "be safe". Yeah, well, no one leaves home thinking I'm going out there and will be SUPER UNSAFE.

Again, I'm sorry if I came out way too strong at your comment. I'm lovely in person, I swear! lol
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
And I apologize myself for reading your comment as flippant and victim-blaming when you didn't mean it that way. It's difficult to tell sometimes just reading on a screen.

I'm just frustrated to see the onus too often on the women to not be attacked, like we can do anything about it. It's like saying "be safe". Yeah, well, no one leaves home thinking I'm going out there and will be SUPER UNSAFE.

Again, I'm sorry if I came out way too strong at your comment. I'm lovely in person, I swear! lol
I have often been uncomfortable with this quandary of how to suggest "precautions" without incurring the accusation of victim blaming. In the case of sexual assault, it gets SO complicated.

For example, if we suggest wearing light-coloured or reflective clothes when someone goes out walking in poor visibility, we are not "blaming" them. The driver is still responsible for not driving into them. We are suggesting a simple risk control. Similarly, I would make suggestions to my daughters on how to be as safe as possible, given the known hazards. These measures are wise risk control measures, even while we work at changing complex attitudes so the precautions will be less necessary in the long term.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I have often been uncomfortable with this quandary of how to suggest "precautions" without incurring the accusation of victim blaming. In the case of sexual assault, it gets SO complicated.

For example, if we suggest wearing light-coloured or reflective clothes when someone goes out walking in poor visibility, we are not "blaming" them. The driver is still responsible for not driving into them. We are suggesting a simple risk control. Similarly, I would make suggestions to my daughters on how to be as safe as possible, given the known hazards. These measures are wise risk control measures, even while we work at changing complex attitudes so the precautions will be less necessary in the long term.
Similarly, if we advise people to watch their valuables, we aren't removing responsibility and accountability from thieves. But unfortunately it isn't the same with sexual assault. In our culture, all too often women are blamed and held to account for crimes where they are the victim. I should have been more sensitive to that. Personally, I would never advise women on precautions. I leave that to other women. But I recognize that many women do take precautions, even though they don't always work, because they have learned that our society is not safe for them.
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
With all due respect to those apologizing above, regardless of gender, age, religion or physical stature I will warn and/or advise my fellow humans that I come into contact with about any dangers, minor or major I perceive they may be walking into. On and Off the Camino. I hope they would do the same for me. If that makes me a primitive so be it.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
With all due respect to those apologizing above, regardless of gender, age, religion or physical stature I will warn and/or advise my fellow humans that I come into contact with about any dangers, minor or major I perceive they may be walking into. On and Off the Camino. I hope they would do the same for me. If that makes me a primitive so be it.
I don't think anyone is suggesting that people not be warned of dangers nor apologizing for doing so. I think the concern is the suggestion that, if only women take the right precautions, there would be no dangers and any implication that offenses are the fault of women who not take precautions rather than men who commit the attacks. That is something very different than warning people of dangers.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
If we compare the two recent threads dealing with this topic, it’s pretty easy to see that it is a minefield for unintended implications, perceived insults, and huge misunderstandings. I’m glad that in this thread, both “sides” were able to cut the other some slack and seek some understanding and common ground. It’s so hard to talk this out in person, much less in writing across languages.

I think that everyone agrees that anyone walking now or in the near future from Lisbon would be wise to consider taking public transport to avoid two areas — the canal along the Tejo after Sacavém and the path along and under the A-1 after Alpriate.

I have asked my friends at the Via Lusitana if my earlier suggestion was appropriate — start at the cathedral, walk to Parque Naçoes, and continue on to Sacavém. I remember that some live report a few years ago highlighted a delicious and very welcoming café/pastelaria there, but I can’t find it. In Sacavém take the commuter rail to either Alverca or Alhandra, both of which are well beyond the site of the attack, and continue walking to Vila Franca.

My friends agree that they think that would be safe, but point out that that 6 km between Alverca and Alhandra are a lot of road walking. That may tilt the scale in favor of continuing on the train to Alhandra. Alhandra is a cute place with brightly painted buildings. The 3.5 km between Alhandra and Vila Franca are a nice river-side path. See @jungleboy’s thread with pictures from September.
 
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