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Careful female pilgrims from Padron last 9 k into Santiago

Lvra

Member
Past OR future Camino
2015
Hello,
We have experienced last Monday hiking from Padron around 1 pm, around 9 k before Santiago in a park an encounter with a local. Late 50, brown hair, moustache, wearing green poloshirt. He was acting strange and when we looked behind us he was jerking off on the road. He also approached a german female pilgrim, was walking up and down and trying to make conversation with her. Be aware if u travel there alone as a female.
 
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Lvra

Member
Past OR future Camino
2015
Hello,
No i haven't reported it to the police. I have informed a hospitalero at the Dutch Camino lage landen at Pilgrim office in Santiago.
 
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Silverton

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2003- CF ( various), Portugués (various), Aragonés, Inglés, Sanabrés
If making a visit to the local police is too intimidating, you can use the Spanish government mobile app Alertcops, which is in English--to report an accident, burglary, mugging or sexual offence. Ivar gave information on the app here on this forum. I easily downloaded it in the spring, 'just in case'--didn't need it, but was glad to have the reassurance.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
If making a visit to the local police is too intimidating, you can use the Spanish government mobile app Alertcops, which is in English--to report an accident, burglary, mugging or sexual offence. Ivar gave information on the app here on this forum. I easily downloaded it in the spring, 'just in case'--didn't need it, but was glad to have the reassurance.

Here is the link to the respective thread and the App https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/alert-cops.36208

Buen Camino, SY
 
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CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
Have I ever told the story of the man who grabbed me in Leon? He regretted it. There is nothing stronger than a large strong pissed off woman, who has the safety of people around.

I am a powerhouse after hiking with poles for ten days. One of my most empowering memories is sending him flying backwards with a mighty shove. Roar!!
 

RumAndChupacabras

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Jul-Sept 2019: Six weeks in Northern Spain.
Apr 2018 Asturias
May 2016 CP: Portuguese
I hope you reported that @CaminoDebrita.

@Lvra I believe these kinds of things need to be reported to Police in order to (possibly) prevent that person from assaulting another.
 

alcamino

New Member
Past OR future Camino
september (2016)
Hello, i did this stage last saturday and it was very quiet and nobody was with strange behavior. Maybe was just a guy pretending make conversation as we do with locals. Maybe girl became a litlle bit nervous and confuse. I dis al Portuguese Camino from Oporto and it was fantastic. :)
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
I hope you reported that @CaminoDebrita.

@Lvra I believe these kinds of things need to be reported to Police in order to (possibly) prevent that person from assaulting another.

It did come up when I was in the police department reporting that my friend's backpack was stolen from the Convent in Leon.

Just as we were going through the archway of the convent was one said fellow took me by both shoulders and moved in for a full-on lip kiss. Then, right after he went flying backward (after I shoved him with both hands), we entered the convent to find my friend's pack had been sitting in the unattended courtyard (pack delivery service, which she used, had put it there).

Then, we went into the convent where the workers (Belgian volunteers) would not call the police for us. We did go to the police station the following morning.

I'm always glad to do the right thing, but thanks for "hoping" that I did!

Cheers : )
 
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whariwharangi

Guest
It did come up when I was in the police department reporting that my friend's backpack was stolen from the Convent in Leon.

Just as we were going through the archway of the convent was one said fellow took me by both shoulders and moved in for a full-on lip kiss. Then, right after he went flying backward (after I shoved him with both hands), we entered the convent to find my friend's pack had been sitting in the unattended courtyard (pack delivery service, which she used, had put it there).

Then, we went into the convent where the workers (Belgian volunteers) would not call the police for us. We did go to the police station the following morning.

I'm always glad to do the right thing, but thanks for "hoping" that I did!

Cheers : )

When I stayed at the convent in Leon Nov 2012 someone had left their pack in the courtyard and it was stolen from exactly the same place.
 

SeaHorse

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015 (SJPDP-Finisterre), planning Norte
To report you don't have to go anywhere or ask anybody to do it for you: just call 112 - the same police number all over EU. Emergency numbers are free. Works even if you don't have subscription. Do it immediately from a safe place around the corner, sit by a bar, sip your cafe latte, enjoy a good cause. The call can be connected with EN translator, it will be recorded, so no fear that it may disappear simply because you didn't write it on paper. Will take only a few minutes of your life but may help the next pilgrim. Not a bad idea to prepare the characteristics as thoroughly as you can: how tall the person was, hair, facial hair, what did he/she wear, etc. If you are a group, make a list: one may remember the bag, other - shoes, or hat.
 
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Annie Little

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
Have I ever told the story of the man who grabbed me in Leon? He regretted it. There is nothing stronger than a large strong pissed off woman, who has the safety of people around.

I am a powerhouse after hiking with poles for ten days. One of my most empowering memories is sending him flying backwards with a mighty shove. Roar!!

I am not a violent person but I have a plan if I need it ..... It involves poles in right hand at groin level and small tin hair spray in left hand at eye level ( in case I need to straighten my hair ).... I walked alone 6 hrs today and was past separately by two men .... Just in case I made sure I was ready .... Sorry but it was an isolated area ..... And there were no others around .... I was NOT scared just prepared .... I do feel safe but always wise to be smart as well :D
 

HaveringRob

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Acting strange, masturbating, and attempting conversation... I wonder if reporting this behaviour qualifies as an emergency and the intended use of life or death police phone lines.
I am surprised that you think that this behaivor is not an emergency. Women have downplayed and excused horrible and frightening behavior so as not to be seen as overreacting. I hesitate to say it, but your comment is part of that problem. Under what circumstances would you accost unknown women while masturbating in public? If the answer is "none" then you can see how this behavior qualifies as seriously aberrant. One cannot predict such a person's behavior and it should be reported as a emergency and a risk to public safety.
 

T0M

New Member
Past OR future Camino
France (2019)
Acting strange, masturbating, and attempting conversation... I wonder if reporting this behaviour qualifies as an emergency and the intended use of life or death police phone lines.
Such aberrant behaviour should absolutely be reported. If it can be reported at the time it is happening, yes, by all means call the emergency line. But later, as some have suggested, the use of an emergency line because it is more convenient than filing a paper report... totally wrong.
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I would advice all who are exposed to such misbehaviour to report immediately. The Spanish police takes these acts very seriously, as it also threatens the trust in the Camino(s).

Install the AlertCops app on your smartphone (in particular women, but I have it too). Not many years ago, we had an innocent pilgrim terribly murdered by one of the likes of these disturbed men. I suspect that that incidence was sparking the creation of that app.

Better one alert too many than one too few.
 
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Past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
Have I ever told the story of the man who grabbed me in Leon? He regretted it. There is nothing stronger than a large strong pissed off woman, who has the safety of people around.

I am a powerhouse after hiking with poles for ten days. One of my most empowering memories is sending him flying backwards with a mighty shove. Roar!!
BRILLIANT XXX

SAMARKAND.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Such aberrant behaviour should absolutely be reported. If it can be reported at the time it is happening, yes, by all means call the emergency line. But later, as some have suggested, the use of an emergency line because it is more convenient than filing a paper report... totally wrong.
I don't think anyone has suggested calling 112 simply because it is more convenient. If in doubt, call 112. I would expect the 112 operators to be able to forward the information for the appropriate response.

In Ivar's recent post about Emergency Contacts, information is provided for both the 112 number and the Alert Cops app. "Pilgrims are urged to report all cases of sexual assault, including exhibitionism, to either 112 or Alert Cops." Those two options should allow the individual to make the judgement that is appropriate, as well as being convenient if the emergency situation has passed.
 

HaveringRob

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Such aberrant behaviour should absolutely be reported. If it can be reported at the time it is happening, yes, by all means call the emergency line. But later, as some have suggested, the use of an emergency line because it is more convenient than filing a paper report... totally wrong.
I think you are still missing the point. You are putting in caveats that really should not be there ... IF it can be reported at the time it is happening. Why is it only permissible if it is happening at that moment? That is so odd to me. Who are the "some" who suggested calling the police to be convenient (if irresponsible)? I didn't see that. I get so sad when I read (mostly) women worrying about their safety if they walk the Camino alone. Do a quick search and look at how many threads are posted about women being afraid on the Camino. Public masturbation is sexual coercion, plain and simple. The fear of encountering it is an ugly truth. I would be surprised if women were typically capricious or lazy about reporting such things.
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Such aberrant behaviour should absolutely be reported. If it can be reported at the time it is happening, yes, by all means call the emergency line. But later, as some have suggested, the use of an emergency line because it is more convenient than filing a paper report... totally wrong.
One more alert is better than one less alert. To avoid an escalating problem/danger, all uncomfortable incidents should get police attention.

(At least) one female pilgrim has been murdered (relatively) recently. Perhaps it (most likely) could have been avoided. IMHO, a murder is a consequence of incidents that are left unattended, and the perpetrator feeling he will get away with another incidence of his behaviour (I am deliberately writing "he"; haven't heard of any "she" offenders on that scale).

Think.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
It is worth noting that the original warning post in this thread was September 2016.
There were no further posts in this thread until today, October 11, 2021.
I know, but the issue is as important today as before, and it is important for (the horde of) new members that trust the (peaceful) Camino(s). Even in Paradise there was a (rotten) apple, Just my HO ;-)

From my impression, the number of new members in here is growing very fast. While the Camino(s) are much, much safer than most cities around the world, there are still strange encounters. Better prepare for the worst and trust in the best.

Another post in here mentioned causes like demethia, phsycic disorders, etc. as possible excuses for irrational behaviour, which should not represent a threat to ordinary people, but nevertheless... Be relaxed, but be prepared.

You come a long way with other people with kindness, assisted by a sturdy stick (or AlertCops). (Loosely after Winston Churchill).
 
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Past OR future Camino
CFx5
Norte
Primitivo
CP
Le Puy-SJPP
Via F
I think you are still missing the point. You are putting in caveats that really should not be there ... IF it can be reported at the time it is happening. Why is it only permissible if it is happening at that moment? That is so odd to me. Who are the "some" who suggested calling the police to be convenient (if irresponsible)? I didn't see that. I get so sad when I read (mostly) women worrying about their safety if they walk the Camino alone. Do a quick search and look at how many threads are posted about women being afraid on the Camino. Public masturbation is sexual coercion, plain and simple. The fear of encountering it is an ugly truth. I would be surprised if women were typically capricious or lazy about reporting such things.
Thank you HaveringBob
it is for this very reason that I decided last week and at the last moment on the plane to Santiago too to change my mind about walking The Ingles and started from Sarria instead
i guess I should have done my research but it was an on the spur decision to fly to Santiago and walk

i have walked many caminos but always with my husband and this is the first time I walked alone so yes, I was apprehensive walking on isolated sections which I believe are part of the Ingles

I salute the many brave women who prefer to walk alone but that is not me and without a smartphone I wanted to enjoy the walk…not be jumping out of my skin all the time or looking over my shoulder every five minutes
any type of dubious/harassment behaviour whether sexual or not should be reported to the police sooner rather than later

saying that however I often walked for hours without seeing anyone on the CF as I preferred to stay in the sections and away from the “popular”
and yet I felt quiet safe ..strange
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I wanted to enjoy the walk…not be jumping out of my skin all the time or looking over my shoulder every five minutes
If I felt like this on the Camino, I would stop walking it! Everybody needs to find their comfort zone and make decisions about risks. On the Caminos in Spain, upon occasion I have had a heightened sense of awareness and concern, but fortunately it happens no more often in Spain than it does when I am walking closer to home.

On walking alone in unpopulated Caminos, I am more worried about injuring myself and nobody coming along soon, than I am about someone else harming me.

Those are two reasons I always carry a phone and have it easily accessible.
 
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Past OR future Camino
CFx5
Norte
Primitivo
CP
Le Puy-SJPP
Via F
If I felt like this on the Camino, I would stop walking it! Everybody needs to find their comfort zone and make decisions about risks. On the Caminos in Spain, upon occasion I have had a heightened sense of awareness and concern, but fortunately it happens no more often in Spain than it does when I am walking closer to home.

On walking alone in unpopulated Caminos, I am more worried about injuring myself and nobody coming along soon, than I am about someone else harming me.

Those are two reasons I always carry a phone and have it easily accessible.
And that is the reason I decided not to walk the Camino Ingles and instead walk from Sarria, and although late in the day, I knew the Ingles was not for me on my own
I prefer to walk with hubby so this was a totally new experience for me, and saying that, I enjoyed myself immensely
For me, my comfort zone was on that section of the CF although there were times when as I said I walked alone for hours and felt quiet safe
I do have a phone but it’s not a smartphone
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Install the AlertCops app on your smartphone (in particular women, but I have it too).
In a real emergency, I would call 112 rather than use the App. It takes you directly to the emergency services site in the region you are calling from. Of course it’s up to the individual to decide how to characterize the situation.

I have reported about six or seven incidents of “flashing” on the Camino Francés, never on any other camino. I did not do it in real time, so I did not call 112, but if I had thought there was a reasonable chance that a police car could have arrived before the man made his getaway, I would have probably called. In my early years of walking the camino, the attitude about men masturbating in front of women on lonely stretches of the camino was totally different than it is now. Reports are now taken very seriously and followed up on.

But later, as some have suggested, the use of an emergency line because it is more convenient than filing a paper report..
I don’t see any suggestion that it is more convenient to call than to file a report. However you report it, you are going to be questioned and will have to sign a statement, so calling on the phone is not a “time saver.” I have to admit I’ve met women who decided not to report an incident because of the hassle factor.
 

Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
One more alert is better than one less alert. To avoid an escalating problem/danger, all uncomfortable incidents should get police attention.

(At least) one female pilgrim has been murdered (relatively) recently. Perhaps it (most likely) could have been avoided. IMHO, a murder is a consequence of incidents that are left unattended, and the perpetrator feeling he will get away with another incidence of his behaviour (I am deliberately writing "he"; haven't heard of any "she" offenders on that scale).

Think.
I’m so glad this point about previous incidents has been put forward. For this reason more than any other, I’d feel I had to report any such incident as soon as possible.

Almost invariably, the perpetrators of serious violent attacks and murders have a history of minor sexual offences. The Sarah Everard case in the U.K. is still very much on people’s minds here and is a classic example. The prior incidents in that case should have been nipped in the bud. And there are too many other examples to list.

I don’t think it’s something to dwell on, just to act on if it happens, every time.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
If I felt like this on the Camino, I would stop walking it! Everybody needs to find their comfort zone and make decisions about risks. On the Caminos in Spain, upon occasion I have had a heightened sense of awareness and concern, but fortunately it happens no more often in Spain than it does when I am walking closer to home.

On walking alone in unpopulated Caminos, I am more worried about injuring myself and nobody coming along soon, than I am about someone else harming me.

Those are two reasons I always carry a phone and have it easily accessible.
Yes, the possibility of something other than a sexual assault is another reason to download Alert Cops - it provides alternatives for injury, theft and other problems, not just sexual assaults.

I agree with @peregrina2000 about calling 112 but my Spanish is pretty basic and I'm not sure how I would handle that when under pressure in a real emergency. Definitely have Alert Cops as a backup. If you have set it up correctly it will have your details already recorded, the fact that you are an English speaker, will also alert your "guardian" (assuming you have set that up) and it automatically sends your location.
I’m so glad this point about previous incidents has been put forward. For this reason more than any other, I’d feel I had to report any such incident as soon as possible.

Almost invariably, the perpetrators of serious violent attacks and murders have a history of minor sexual offences. The Sarah Everard case in the U.K. is still very much on people’s minds here and is a classic example. The prior incidents in that case should have been nipped in the bud. And there are too many other examples to list.

I don’t think it’s something to dwell on, just to act on if it happens, every time.
This is also the advice I received from the specialist police service when I was involved with helping victims of crime. The advice was that a percentage of minor offenders do go on to very serious assaults - those perpetrators do what they can get away with, and if there are no repercussions they escalate.

Edited to add - to reassure those first timers who may be reading this thread and thinking the worst - on my multiple long walks in Spain and France, I've never had an emergency when I've needed to do either, and generally I feel very safe. I'm like C Clearly - more concerned about being injured in an isolated spot, or having an encounter with a bull, or bedbugs....
 
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truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Norte post-pandemic
I am surprised that you think that this behaivor is not an emergency. Women have downplayed and excused horrible and frightening behavior so as not to be seen as overreacting. I hesitate to say it, but your comment is part of that problem. Under what circumstances would you accost unknown women while masturbating in public? If the answer is "none" then you can see how this behavior qualifies as seriously aberrant. One cannot predict such a person's behavior and it should be reported as a emergency and a risk to public safety.
Yes, thanks for saying that particular comment is part of the problem. I was shocked when I read it.
 
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HaveringRob

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
The broken windows hypothesis is more shaky than it's made out to be.

Which is not to say that we should ignore minor incidents. In this case we absolutely shouldn't.
I would say that the broken windows theory is less applicable than the fact that it is not at all uncommon for violent sexual behavior to have started with exposure or peeping. It may be a minor incident, but think of what has to happen inside a person to make them need to force other people to watch them while they masturbate in order to have sexual gratification. For most of us it is literally unthinkable. That elevates it from a kind of gross and hopefully fleeting encounter to an emergency that needs to be reported.
 

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