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Caution for female pilgrims around Boadilla del Camino

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jmo5024

New Member
Last night, june 5, we were staying at the albergue ¨En El Camino¨ in Boadilla del Camino. The entire room I was sleeping in was woken to someone standing outside the window saying over and over ¨Abre la ventana.¨ A lady was sleeping right beside this window and when she clearly saw someone looking back at her. He woke the whole room up and when the lights came on he disappeared. We notified the hospitalero but he did not seem to care; he said it was only a chinese man who had been locked out, but that did not sit well with me because if it was someone who was locked out then why did he disappear when the lights went on? We should have also called the police, but for some reason nobody thought to do this, maybe because it woke everyone up and we were not thinking clearly due to sleep.

The next night in Carrion de los Condes i heard of a pilgrim woman who while walking out of Boadilla by herself the next morning was asked by a man if she wanted a ride. She declined wisely, but he came back in his car and asked her again. Again she declined, but he came back a third time telling her she was going to ride with him. Thankfully she got away.

With both these incidents happening in the same evening / next morning i wanted to warn any women pilgrams to take care around Boadilla del Camino. It was scary enough to see this in person and be in the room where the man was telling the lady to open the window, i do not want to see anything happen to an unsuspecting pilgrim.
 
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Br. David

Active Member
Well reported - rare of course, but not rare enough, they give men a bad name, men like that, but every garden has at least one serpent
 

virveb

New Member
Thank you for the warning. Around Burgos area I surely will be looking around and have my nordic poles ready!
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Ok...well thanks, cause this explains the rumors I just heard about. It will help put some minds at ease. One lady, took the bus thru the rest of the Meseta, straight to Leon because of rumors! As of tonight that is all from Rabanal, Karin
 
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Deleted member 3000

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We notified the hospitalero but he did not seem to care; he said it was only a chinese man who had been locked out, but that did not sit well with me because if it was someone who was locked out then why did he disappear when the lights went on? We should have also called the police,
Eduardo may be the best hospitalero on the Camino. If he says the person at the window was a Chinese man locked out, I would be inclined to take his word for it. Having roused the entire dormitory at the window, it would make sense to head for the front door. The front door is locked and chained at night. A group of English teachers on a long weekend from Madrid arrived at En El Camino with the intention of taking a train from Fromista the following morning. The train was not running that day, either due to the holiday or Sunday, Eduardo knew this, and he arranged for two cars driven by his friends to transport the teachers to Palencia, where they could catch a train. His mother operates the best kitchen on the Camino!

Pilgrims are offered rides all the time. Spanish men are quite predatory in bars. The two can be reconciled only by paying close attention to the circumstances. Repeated requests to accept a ride are suspicious. However, it could be hospitality, or it could be the language barrier "repeat, repeat" at work. Women should exercise caution, even extreme caution, but fear and paranoia may not be the ideal attitude. Regardless, Boadilla del Camino and En El Camino are excellent in my opinion.
 
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Trudy

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
Unfortunately these things do happen, and they happen everywhere, not just on the Camino. However, I still believe the Camino Frances is one of the safest places for a woman alone to walk. With thousands of people walking the track every day there will be the occassional 'incident', but this should not blown out of proportion or cause women to worry and start taking buses to avoid a particular stretch.
 

Whizzer

Member
I think all ladys need to tie a bright orange whistle to the shoulder pack strap. This may help stop what happen above.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I second what Falcon said.
I wouldn't worry about it at all.

Besides, what is there to be afraid of?
A man OUTSIDE the window?
Pull the curtain!
Move to another bed?
He is OUTSIDE, for goodness sakes.
Poor guy probably didn't get back in time for curfew.
Unlike America, where everyone is sue-happy, you can lock someone out in Spain if they don't follow the rules.
I like that!
Plain and simple.

Regarding the guy in the car... maybe.
Did anyone file a police report?

If you're afraid, walk with a group. That shouldn't be difficult this time of year.

Every year there are one or two reports of strange men...
I even heard one firsthand about a flasher.
One or two a year.. not bad at all, considering the traffic on the Camino!
I hear much more dangerous reports on my nightly news... NIGHTLY... in Portland, Oregon! :!:

Relax..
Leave your fear in the next chapel or meadow.
Just walk.
Buen Camino.
 

RENSHAW

Official Camino Vino taster
Past OR future Camino
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks on the CF frequently.
Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
falcon269 said:
We notified the hospitalero but he did not seem to care; he said it was only a chinese man who had been locked out, but that did not sit well with me because if it was someone who was locked out then why did he disappear when the lights went on? We should have also called the police,
Eduardo may be the best hospitalero on the Camino. If he says the person at the window was a Chinese man locked out, I would be inclined to take his word for it. Having roused the entire dormitory at the window, it would make sense to head for the front door. The front door is locked and chained at night. A group of English teachers on a long weekend from Madrid arrived at En El Camino with the intention of taking a train from Fromista the following morning. The train was not running that day, either due to the holiday or Sunday, Eduardo knew this, and he arranged for two cars driven by his friends to transport the teachers to Palencia, where they could catch a train. His mother operates the best kitchen on the Camino!

Pilgrims are offered rides all the time. Spanish men are quite predatory in bars. The two can be reconciled only by paying close attention to the circumstances. Repeated requests to accept a ride are suspicious. However, it could be hospitality, or it could be the language barrier "repeat, repeat" at work. Women should exercise caution, even extreme caution, but fear and paranoia may not be the ideal attitude. Regardless, Boadilla del Camino and En El Camino are excellent in my opinion.
Falcon is right here , the Albergue may be THE best on the Camino......................
As for the Dodgy Man in the car ....
Ladies! Get the cell phone or camera out and take pictures of the cars no. plate and the perpetrator!
 

Br. David

Active Member
Friend of mine a few years ago, independent woman in her fifties, woke up in her bedroom at 3am to a terrible pounding on the window. Her bedroom door was locked - she looked across and there was a naked man just pounding and pounding on her window. She tried to ignore it but eventually got out of bed and let him out.
 
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Caminando

Veteran Member
Br. David said:
I was a bit disappointed at the 'joke' here - tho' each to his own. The OP wrote of some real concerns, however unlikely they were. She wouldnt have expected a sexual joke in response, tho' I'm sure the hardhearted mirth at her worries was not intentional. It may simply reflect a passée view of women and was not malicious, but merely unthinking. But bear in mind that the OP may not wish to raise this subject again, because of such a dismissive response. That would be unfortunate. So please reconsider the mirth. Have a heart, more be understanding.
 
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Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
You are absolutely right, Caminando.

So sorry you were so shocked by our joke.

I apologize if anyone's sensibilities were offended.
Sometimes it helps to lessen my fears if I laugh. :wink:
 

Br. David

Active Member
I too was trying to lessen the tension. The topic had been responded to, a balance had been set (the Chinese man was likely to be trying to get to bed, the hospitelaro is an honest and helpful chap, offers of lifts are not uncommon, just because of rare possible problems this is not a reason to give up sections of one's own pilgrimage, and so on).

The joke was purposefully written as pro-female rather than the other way round, putting the woman in the position of control. I still think it is rather funny.

I am perfectly aware of why the one specific anti-comment was written, I might be an idiot but I am not stupid (or is it the other way round? :lol: ). If anyone ever has problems with anything I write would they please feel free to pm me - I don't bite (unless you are a lamb chop). :wink:
 
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Canuck

Veteran wanderer
Past OR future Camino
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Br. David said:
If anyone ever has problems with anything I write would they please feel free to pm me

What's this obssestion with private comment when people disagree with you? Why is it that you always seem to find rudness in comments that don't agree with yours?

If you make public statement, expect public rebutal.

When people are brief and to the point, they are not necessarily rude; just different rethoric.

Can I go now?
Jean-Marc
 
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Br. David

Active Member
Ah, I see. I think there is an error here. Just my English way of writing perhaps? The fault is mine.
I actually wrote "if anyone has any problems with the things I write"

which means, if anyone has any problems with the things I write would they pm me rather than offering personal insults in public ... :wink:

Actually, I love debate and enjoy listening to - and trying to rebutt - opposing views. If someone convinces me I alter my viewpoint, I am not fixed.
What I don't like is when people ignore the points made and descend to personal insults. I find it upsetting, it is the sort of thing that isn't considered 'done' in public over here. In England when people offer personal insults in front of others we have a tendency to knock them down - it just isn't done.

My apologies for being unclear
- I am not obsessed with pm's, I wish only that people would insult me in private.
- I do not find rudeness in comments that do not agree with mine, I find rudeness in rudeness.
 
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"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence."
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Sorry, I don't have any original thoughts on the matter.
 

jmo5024

New Member
Yes, it very well could be coincidence and nothing, but i did not intend for people to skip Boadilla, just to warn them. Plenty of people walked out of that albergue the next morning without incident. But to have those two things happen so close together i felt i should at least give a note of caution.

And 'En El Camino' was a great albergue, and a great experience up until the evening. The dinner was fantastic and the setting is spectacular. I dont intend to slander, only to ask for caution.
 
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Br. David

Active Member
In situations like the one you post I thank God that I am not a woman. A woman just walking down the street is stared at by passing male motorists, a woman going for a drink alone is considered by some males to be worth 'chatting up'. It must be really difficult, sometimes, to be a woman.
Men are continuously conscious of the possibility of violence against them by other males - especially if it is late at night, and they meet a group of drunken males, but it must be awful to always have to be on the lookout for those who predate upon women, awful.

But this is not all men, most men are not like this - and I hesitate to say it, but, in those unfrequent situations perhaps one should use the custom of the past and walk in caravan. Wait until there is a group, or just one or two others, and walk with them. It is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of awareness.

A thread such as this can give the shivers to new pilgrims (hence my badly timed joke -aimed at leavening the dough) .... but the Camino Frances has to be the safest road a woman could walk on this planet. There is a grapevine, information is quickly passed on, and in Spain crime is about one eighth than it is in England. Incidents do happen (also against men) on the Caminos but they are extremely rare.

I was not there, I did not feel what the women felt, and as a male without direct experience of that particular fear, I have been glib - I apologise - deeply - for that glibness.

When I was a child my Mother - and I assume other women of her age - carried a small container of ground pepper in one hand when they had to walk home in the dark. One evening she had to throw it in the face of a man who bothered her, then ran home. I was six, I still remember it. Her mother used to carry a hat pin, and was quite willing to push it into the wrong mans face if necessary. The world, generally, is no more safe than it was 2,000 years ago, we just have more gadgets.

Of which - might I suggest? - carry pepper spray, you can buy it in France and Spain, and carry it in France and Spain quite legally. It is sold in most hunting shops as CS spray - for protection against wild animals - If that is difficult, buy it online and have it delivered (or post it yourself) to your first refuge, waiting for you when you arrive. Try - the European based website pepper-spray.eu

But - these incidents are very rare. (and I, to my shame, am sometimes too glib) :?
 
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Trudy

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
While pepper spray could provide a woman with more security and confidence, it could also be easily misused especially when the situation arises because of a misunderstanding, not malicious intent, on the part of the male.

In 2007, when I was walking out of Melide, a car stopped next to me and the aggresive looking male driver shouted to me. Now, my Spanish is non-existent, and I was a bit worried so kept walking. But the car kept following me with the driver shouting. It would have been very easy for me, had I been more nervous, to spray him through the open window. As it turned out, I was going the wrong way and this man was simply telling an ignorant pilgrim that she was on the wrong road. We both laughed once I understood, and I backtracked two kms blessing this man who had made such an effort to redirect me. It would have been very easy for him to keep driving, and for me to end up completely lost.

In another, more sinister, incident on the way out of Pedrouza, I came across a flasher. The guy was standing beside a river below the road and dropped his pants as soon as he saw me. I kept walking knowing that to get to me he'd have to pull up his pants and climb a steep slope, while I had a couple of hiking poles to fend him off. Again I could have panicked and used pepper spray, but why? I was more worried about the poor bloke getting hyperthermia as it was pouring with rain and very cold!!

I guess the moral of the story is to keep your head and think carefully before reacting, and don't become paranoid about something going wrong.
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Past OR future Camino
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
As someone who got to experience the actions of a pervert on the Camino last year in Cacabelos, I think that stuff like this needs to be taken seriously by the men AND women on this forum. Violence against women is very real EVERYWHERE. Violence against women can be real or implied. In my situation, I had a dude sit down next to me on a park bench at the edge of town and proceed to play with himself. I couldn't get myself out of there quick enough! Did I call the policia? No. Why? Because, heaven forbid I carry any kind of technology on the Camino since that would cheapen the experience for me. (that is sarcasm) I chose to take a self-defense class before I left for the Camino and I had my trekking poles at the ready if he had followed me, which he didn't. I would not carry pepper spray because it could be used against me. I'd rather cause physical damage with my fingers, my fists, my elbows, my knees, my feet, and my voice.

The reality for women around the world is that there is a constant threat of violence towards us at any given time due to the fact we are women and for no other reason. Sorry men, you don't know what this feels like. You think you do. Until you've been raped, sexually assaulted, or had some other kind of actual of sexual aggression committed against you, you really don't. Victim blaming is also not okay. Women shouldn't have to worry about whether a man is going to rape (or any other kind of assault, etc) them or not.
 

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camino-david

RIP 2020
Past OR future Camino
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Hi Renegadepilgrim,
As a man, I totally agree that we don't know, and from a personal opinion, I think it must be indescibably horrible.
I would think that a whistle could be a protective but non-offensive 'weapon'. What do you think?
I have been attacked by four men attempting to rob me, and my response was to grab the fingers of the man attacking me and bending them back until he screamed in pain and backed off. This was on a public bus in Russia where all the other passengers were too scared to help.
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Past OR future Camino
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
camino-david said:
Hi Renegadepilgrim,
As a man, I totally agree that we don't know, and from a personal opinion, I think it must be indescibably horrible.
I would think that a whistle could be a protective but non-offensive 'weapon'. What do you think?
I have been attacked by four men attempting to rob me, and my response was to grab the fingers of the man attacking me and bending them back until he screamed in pain and backed off. This was on a public bus in Russia where all the other passengers were too scared to help.

Whistles are great (many backpacks include a whistle on the chest strap built into the clasp, no need to carry another one) and what you did was also great. We were taught various ways to get out of holds, and other types of attack in my self-defense class. The most important tool: Listen to your gut. You'll never go wrong.
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
Ren

Your experiences were appalling, unacceptable.

However, it is your absolute duty, for the sake of the women who come after you, to report such aggression.

If you do not, then you undermine the chances of suppressing this problem for others.

If you won't act, who will?




renegadepilgrim said:
As someone who got to experience the actions of a pervert on the Camino last year in Cacabelos, I think that stuff like this needs to be taken seriously by the men AND women on this forum. Violence against women is very real EVERYWHERE. Violence against women can be real or implied. In my situation, I had a dude sit down next to me on a park bench at the edge of town and proceed to play with himself. I couldn't get myself out of there quick enough! Did I call the policia? No. Why? Because, heaven forbid I carry any kind of technology on the Camino since that would cheapen the experience for me. (that is sarcasm) I chose to take a self-defense class before I left for the Camino and I had my trekking poles at the ready if he had followed me, which he didn't. I would not carry pepper spray because it could be used against me. I'd rather cause physical damage with my fingers, my fists, my elbows, my knees, my feet, and my voice.

The reality for women around the world is that there is a constant threat of violence towards us at any given time due to the fact we are women and for no other reason. Sorry men, you don't know what this feels like. You think you do. Until you've been raped, sexually assaulted, or had some other kind of actual of sexual aggression committed against you, you really don't. Victim blaming is also not okay. Women shouldn't have to worry about whether a man is going to rape (or any other kind of assault, etc) them or not.
 
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KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Caminando said:
However, it is your absolute duty, for the sake of the women who come after you, to report such aggression.
I have had two very scary experiences in Europe- neither on the Camino. However, it is not so easy to report things when you are in a foreign land, and I didn't report either incident. You don't speak the language, don't know where the police station is, don't know what kind of people the police are. Women who are already traumatised sometimes just want to get away from where the event happened. Perhaps on the Camino where hospitaleros might help you to make a report, it could be different.
Margaret
 

Br. David

Active Member
I saw a murderer with his dead victim in France once and didn't report it to the police. I was driving a van done to Albi and stopped on the motorway north of Bordeaux to check a noise on the van. I idly looked over the motorway wall and was looking at the view. The motorway was high there and below me was a pond. As I looked an estate car drove down a track and stopped. The driver got out, went round to the passenger door and opened it. Inside was a large (fat) woman who seemed asleep. When he opened the door her arm just dropped and hung out of the car but she didn't move. I realised she was either unconscious or dead. The chap looked around, found a fallen branch and started poking the pond to see how deep it was. Then he looked up and saw me looking down at him. He dropped the branch, scurried back to the car, lifted the woman's arm and closed the door and drove away.

I was too far away to read the number plate, just too far to be able to recognise him again with certainty. I didn't know where I was or where the pond was, I was miles from the next exit and would have had to find a town and the police and then try to convince them and then find the way back to the same spot.
So I decided that as she was already dead and the man was so stupid that he was thinking of disposing of the body in a shallow pond that he was local, an idiot, and would be caught anyway - so I carried on to Albi.

Should I have tried? Who knows.
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Past OR future Camino
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
Caminando said:
Ren

Your experiences were appalling, unacceptable.

However, it is your absolute duty, for the sake of the women who come after you, to report such aggression.

If you do not, then you undermine the chances of suppressing this problem for others.

If you won't act, who will?

And how exactly was I supposed to report the incident when a) I don't speak the language well enough to order a meal much less report a pervert (yes, I know that they have operators who speak english for emergencies, but....) and b) I didn't have a cell phone??? Quite frankly, I don't trust the police in my own country and much less in many foreign countries, including Spain, with regards to the safety of women.
 

Br. David

Active Member
I think you may be doing the male members of the Spanish police a dis-service.
Any report of a woman being harassed or attacked would be met with a strong and positive reaction from all available police in the area.
Male police are men. Most men are good men. Men have mothers, sisters, wives, children, female friends - and all have the same reaction to a female in need of help.

I really have to disagree with the attitude that men somehow don't care about the safety of women and are therefore somehow complicit in harassment and attacks.

The nature of any attack on a person is that police can only help after the incident - so unless you have a couple of armed police walking with you at all times it is impossible to rely on others for your safety, whether you are male or female - the responsibility is yours.

Don't you think?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I know this is a topic that periodically makes it onto the forum, and I have frequently expressed the opinion that it is important to report incidents to the police. Over 11 caminos, I have had 3 or 4 experiences with this -- always in the form of men flashing and masturbating, either when I was alone or walking with another woman. I have always reported the incidents, in person because I think it would be very difficult to find the right phone number and then make a report. But I speak Spanish well and that makes it a lot easier.

I understand the feeling that you want to get away from it as quickly as possible, but it would be a great service to those coming behind you if you could find a way to report it. In my experience, the Spanish police take this extremely seriously -- after all, the Camino is a gold mine to many parts of Spain, and they certainly don't want to jeopardize its popularity. And there are ways to make the report even if you don't speak good Spanish -- you can do it via the hospitalero/a at the next albergue; you can find another pilgrim to help you by going with you to the police station or talking with a police officer in the street. BTW, I have reported incidents to both the grises (grey municipal police) and the national Guardia Civil and have always found that they were concerned, took down the information, and said they would send in a bulletin. In fact, I remember one incident coming into Los Arcos. I forgot to report it that evening, and then when I was leaving early in the morning, the only person I saw was a street cleaner, so I told him. He said he would pass it on. I then learned later in the day at my next albergue that the cops had been by and were asking pilgrims if they had seen a guy in a red car exposing himself, which was what I had reported. Not a pleasant part of the Camino, but thankfully a very rare occurrence. Laurie
 
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Br. David

Active Member
good report - though, do you really think that the positive police response is to do with the income that the Caminos bring? Surely not - would you not find the same positive response away from the Camino?

I think so. :wink:

As for the things those sad men do - why on earth do they do that? (rhetorical :| )
 
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In Spain, defendants have the right to confront witnesses, so any prosecution will require your presence at a trial. That should not deter the reporting of a crime. The police want to locate and arrest offenders, but do not have high expectations of a final legal resolution unless you are willing to commit to the entire legal proceedings. In the Philippines, if a witness leaves the country, even with a willingness to return to testify, the charges must be dropped, so you have more victim rights in Spain than there! If there is a perceived lack of enthusiasm on the part of the police, it is because they deal daily with the practicalities of stopping crime and jailing criminals. A flasher incident reported by a pilgrim is not among their ideal complaints regardless of their sympathy for the victim.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Though you're right that no formal legal proceedings are likely to come from any report made by a victim of this sort of thing, I think it would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of informal and extra-legal consequences. For instance, I was once flashed by a guy when leaving Maneru, right next to the cemetery (Maneru is a small town before Cirauqui). I reported it in Cirauqui. The police officer told me that this was a known individual with certain disabilities, that the family had agreed to take steps to monitor him, and that he (the officer) would be visiting the family based on my report to let them know there was a problem. Also, once in some wooded area near Monte de Gozo, a guy came out of a fancy car and flashed us. We wrote down the license plate and gave it to the police we saw in front of the cathedral. They said they would be making a visit to this guy's house to give him a friendly suggestion or two. So I do think that it's worth the report even in the absence of a trial and conviction. Sorry to belabor this topic. Laurie
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
Not exactly the most encouraging and supportive post to women under stress.

But thanks anyway, Falco, it's a view.


falcon269 said:
In Spain, defendants have the right to confront witnesses, so any prosecution will require your presence at a trial. That should not deter the reporting of a crime. The police want to locate and arrest offenders, but do not have high expectations of a final legal resolution unless you are willing to commit to the entire legal proceedings. In the Philippines, if a witness leaves the country, even with a willingness to return to testify, the charges must be dropped, so you have more victim rights in Spain than there! If there is a perceived lack of enthusiasm on the part of the police, it is because they deal daily with the practicalities of stopping crime and jailing criminals. A flasher incident reported by a pilgrim is not among their ideal complaints regardless of their sympathy for the victim.
 
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To be clear, I favor reporting all the crimes and incidents regardless of the hassle it may be. I think most law enforcement is responsive and responsible, and the authorities need information in order to protect citizens and pilgrims. Studies have shown that exhibitionism is not the gateway crime for sexual assault. Voyeurism is. Exhibitionists are acting out their fantasy. Voyeurs are building to bigger things. The police generally know this, so their response to exhibitionism is probably to get the perpetrator under the control of family or social services. It is not a crime that will likely result in prosecution and jail time, so victims should not expect their anger to be fully satisfied. It is another one of those things that just isn't fair, but it may help to have realistic expectations on the official response to a complaint.
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I think the bottom line for pilgrims (male or female) is trust your instincts, don't worry that you may "look foolish" but do what you feel you must to be safe. Not endorsing willy nilly use of pepper spray but if you think it's needed then carry it but be aware that it is not a spray like hairspray, or comes out more like a squirt gun stream and you need to be close enough to aim accurately at the eyes and the stream to make it there. And if you miss and he does have evil intents then he will be upset. When I left home for college at 17 my FBI brother gave me a short self defense lesson that included pretending to faint (dead weight to hold up plus surprise) stomp hard on the instep and run away screaming "fire". My sister who was watching (and a bit more worldly than i) said she'd aim for something other than the instep. My brother explained that it is actually difficult to accurately hit that area with good force (movies not withstanding) and the bad guy would know exactly what you were trying to do and be doubly unhappy.
 
When you are in a strange city, or any location you're not familiar with...stay away from those places you wouldn't take your mother!

Now, that said, there are plenty of mothers walking the Camino...they are often in company with a family member, an old friend, or a new friend...or a fellow pilgrim who is not to far away.

KM for KM the Way is among the safest places to be and, as Smallest Sparrow sez:
trust your instincts

A good indicator is when you say to your self: "That person seems creepy!"

The need for pepper spray, or any other weapon is going overboard and could lead you to a false sense of security. If you let the person get that close...that's your first error.

If you believe you MUST carry something...consider a whistle!

They're small, light and shrill. Let folks who you've walked with know you have it, so when you are separated by a turn in the road and a creep jumps out...you can blow him away (he will probably be so surprised he'll run) and your fellow pilgrim will come running to the rescue.

Buen "now where did I put my Acme Thunderer" Camino

Arn
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
I think the best weapon is a camera, or a mobile phone with a camera feature. Hold it up and take the guy´s photo, if you can. It´s evidence, something the police might use to identify the creep. Even if you can´t get a pic, act like you can. The guy might think twice if he sees he is being recorded.

And if he continues what he is doing, use thephone to dial 112, and tell the police what is happening! The 112 dispatch service is supposed to support all kinds of languages, but I haven´t put it to the test.
 

Debinq

Active Member
hola
I don't mean to sound that I am trivialising this ... but my Mum tried ridicule when confronted with blokes with this kind of penchant - she laughed at them and exhorted them to put it away as she had seen bigger and better in her day ... que pequeno ! It worked especially when she was walking with a girlfriend apparently.

happy trails
Peter
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Personally I would only use the "micro penis" approach with someone I knew. When behavior is questionable in a man I don't know I can't be sure he is unstable and I'd hate to escalate issues wih a challenge to his manhood, even with several years of Aikido under my belt. Same for photos, I think taking an pic is a good idea after calling for help, but I'd be hesitant to take one without expecting backup, just in case he's the type of guy who will donwhatever is required to avoid police/arrest. But I could just be a coward.
 
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fiona99

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finnisterre and Muxia April/June 2015.
Camino Portuguese. Porto - ?? 2017.
Yes you were
I saw a murderer with his dead victim in France once and didn't report it to the police. I was driving a van done to Albi and stopped on the motorway north of Bordeaux to check a noise on the van. I idly looked over the motorway wall and was looking at the view. The motorway was high there and below me was a pond. As I looked an estate car drove down a track and stopped. The driver got out, went round to the passenger door and opened it. Inside was a large (fat) woman who seemed asleep. When he opened the door her arm just dropped and hung out of the car but she didn't move. I realised she was either unconscious or dead. The chap looked around, found a fallen branch and started poking the pond to see how deep it was. Then he looked up and saw me looking down at him. He dropped the branch, scurried back to the car, lifted the woman's arm and closed the door and drove away.

I was too far away to read the number plate, just too far to be able to recognise him again with certainty. I didn't know where I was or where the pond was, I was miles from the next exit and would have had to find a town and the police and then try to convince them and then find the way back to the same spot.
So I decided that as she was already dead and the man was so stupid that he was thinking of disposing of the body in a shallow pond that he was local, an idiot, and would be caught anyway - so I carried on to Albi.

Should I have tried? Who knows.[/QUyes
 
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