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Pervy man on the Via de la Plata

notion900

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
>
Sorry this is a belated report, but the forum won't let me log in on my Android phone, it keeps asking me to approve cookies again and again.

18th April around noon just after the Embalsa de Proserpina (Mérida), where the camino leaves the asphalt road on the left, and there is water erosion to the path, the path breaks into three due to the eroded gullys.

I encountered a man energetically 'pleasuring himself' behind a bush. He had obviously been waiting for a peregrina to pass, the sight of whom would facilitate his endeavours! Later I chatted to a Swiss lady who had been worried by him loitering and watching her as she took a rest break. He didn't try to follow me after I had passed and he had 'achieved his objective'.

Description - about 50, hair black and grey mix, beard. Hair and beard groomed but not very short. Drives a distinctive bright blue SUV/4x4 vehicle which he parked off the road near the gullies to conceal it.

I made a report to the Guardia Civil, which involved being collected by them from the albergue in Aljucén, and taken to identify the scene of the incident and then to Guardia Civil HQ in Mérida. I had to type the report myself as they spoke no English and the report had to be in English. They were very nice and helpful. I don't think I would have been able to explain the situation to them in the first place if I didn't speak Spanish though. The hospitalera and her husband at Albergue Río Aljucén were also very lovely and helpful.

Please report all incidents like this. Find a Spanish speaker to help you if necessary. Expect to type the report yourself, they will then add an official cover sheet. The Guardia Civil will definitely not have a fancy women's trauma suite with cushions and pictures of sunsets, but they are really good guys.

No need to express sympathy btw, I wasn't upset, the guards dropped me back at Aljucén and I had a lovely Roman Bath later on that evening.
 
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Gareth Griffith

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago de Compestela in May(2016)
Reminds me of a woman my late mother met whilst walking her dog. This woman always walked with a stout stick but was in no way infirm and the terrain was hardly tough going. She explained that walking through the woods with her dog, she occassionaly encountered a flasher, this was where the stick came into use...........This perhaps, is another reason for taking a couple of trekking poles with you, either to speed up your exit or to provide yourself with a weapon if things get dodgy.
It is good to know that you are able to take this sort of thing in your stride without it bothering you.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
This is our first reported incident on the forum since we posted this statement in the Personal Safety section. https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...women-on-the-camino-tips-from-the-mods.47474/ Our goal is to repeat it every time we get a report. @notion900, you reacted like a pro, methinks, and on behalf of all women walking, thanks for the report. We have to report or nothing will change. Buen camino, Laurie

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

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

Consider downloading this App issued by the Spanish government:

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

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

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

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

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

RENSHAW

Official Camino Vino taster
Time of past OR future Camino
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks on the CF frequently.
Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
If you have your phone accessible , take a candid photo of the person and the vehicle but at the time it is not easy to remember this. Taking an obvious incriminating photo may antagonize and escalate the whole situation? ........my 10 cents?
You did the right thing to pursue reporting this - I too am a fan of the Civil Guard - in some areas they are custodians of the Camino and even patrol on horse back.
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
>
The Guardia Civil are officially guardians of all the out of town highways and byways, and that includes all Caminos, unless in city limits. Their presence is just more obvious on some than others.

A report is called una Denuncia. Be sure to write in unambiguous descriptive language, as being modest or oblique about sexual misdemeanours may result in a later poor translation, which you will not have the opportunity to correct. I found the 3 male officers I dealt with to be very straightforward and the whole experience was not embarrassing at all.

Further to the comments above, I would not recommend taking a photo as that is likely to precipitate a violent assault. Better to rely on your memory, which if presented in a written report, is just as valid evidence. I would also not recommend attacking 'flashers' with trekking poles.

If you feel afraid and think you may need to run, unobtrusively unclip your pack straps and be ready to drop it. In the end each situation is different and trying to predict your own or anyone else's reaction is a bit pointless.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I once had the presence of mind to note the license plate of the car parked out in the middle of nowhere with the pervert not far away. When I got to Santiago (this was near Monte de Gozo, if you can believe it), I reported it to two police officers in Obradoiro. They took down the number and told me they would visit his home (of course I have no way of knowing whether they did). This was back in the early 2000s and I didn't even think ask about writing up an official report. But I surely would now.

I agree with you, notion900, not a good idea to take a picture. I had always heard that these guys were not violent, but @Kanga has disabused me of that misperception.
 

judeniece

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
walking in july
This is our first reported incident on the forum since we posted this statement in the Personal Safety section. https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...women-on-the-camino-tips-from-the-mods.47474/ Our goal is to repeat it every time we get a report. @notion900, you reacted like a pro, methinks, and on behalf of all women walking, thanks for the report. We have to report or nothing will change. Buen camino, Laurie

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

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

Consider downloading this App issued by the Spanish government:

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

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

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

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

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

Do you know what the name of this app you mention above is called please ?? As i would like to download this, i am unable to download from this link. thank you for your help.
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
>
It's called AlertCops. I have not tried it, there is another thread at the moment where someone is trying to register for it.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
I met a retired German policeman on the VdlP this year, said he had tried to get that app. He thought it was a great idea but it didn't work. I don't know anything further.
 
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Annie Little

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
Even without my pack I would not be able to outrun anyone .
I have my own plan which involves ignoring and keep moving BUT if someone advances towards me in a menancing way or flashes and tries to come closer I WILL defend myself ! by using poles and a small tin of hair spray which I keep in side pocket of pack for such occasions .
I will remember that these perpetrators are cowards BUT I am NOT
 
H

HighlandsHiker

Guest
The registration wouldn't go through for Alert Cops when I tried a couple of days ago. I got what the Verizon tech guy called "Nonsense" in the way of a text to finish the verification process (a bunch of mathematical symbols) - tried 3X with new verification codes, all different, but all just these symbols. I tried texting them also, and sent them an email, but nada (doesn't inspire confidence.....). Then not 2 hours later, my iPhone crashed for the first time ever. Someone suggested trying to download it and registering again once in Spain, which I'll surely try to do, and will be hoping it doesn't crash my phone anywhere too remote.
 

MickyD

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino De Santiago (2018)
I read earlier on this forum that the Spanish SIM card needed to be inserted before this app would work. I believe AlaskDiver made that comment.
 
H

HighlandsHiker

Guest
I read earlier on this forum that the Spanish SIM card needed to be inserted before this app would work. I believe AlaskDiver made that comment.
OK, thanks, Micky. I've given it up, and also am not using a SIM card this time, but appreciate your trying to help. There's always 112 for emergencies.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Sorry this is a belated report, but the forum won't let me log in on my Android phone, it keeps asking me to approve cookies again and again.

18th April around noon just after the Embalsa de Proserpina (Mérida), where the camino leaves the asphalt road on the left, and there is water erosion to the path, the path breaks into three due to the eroded gullys.

I encountered a man energetically 'pleasuring himself' behind a bush. He had obviously been waiting for a peregrina to pass, the sight of whom would facilitate his endeavours! Later I chatted to a Swiss lady who had been worried by him loitering and watching her as she took a rest break. He didn't try to follow me after I had passed and he had 'achieved his objective'.

Description - about 50, hair black and grey mix, beard. Hair and beard groomed but not very short. Drives a distinctive bright blue SUV/4x4 vehicle which he parked off the road near the gullies to conceal it.

I made a report to the Guardia Civil, which involved being collected by them from the albergue in Aljucén, and taken to identify the scene of the incident and then to Guardia Civil HQ in Mérida. I had to type the report myself as they spoke no English and the report had to be in English. They were very nice and helpful. I don't think I would have been able to explain the situation to them in the first place if I didn't speak Spanish though. The hospitalera and her husband at Albergue Río Aljucén were also very lovely and helpful.

Please report all incidents like this. Find a Spanish speaker to help you if necessary. Expect to type the report yourself, they will then add an official cover sheet. The Guardia Civil will definitely not have a fancy women's trauma suite with cushions and pictures of sunsets, but they are really good guys.

No need to express sympathy btw, I wasn't upset, the guards dropped me back at Aljucén and I had a lovely Roman Bath later on that evening.
You certainly did deal with this unfortunate experience in the best possible way and must be an emotionally strong gal to not only report the incident, but carry on with your walk without skipping a beat.
That said, in referring to your opening remark about your Android phone...I've been having the same problem of not consistently being able to log in with mine. It is so frustrating!
 

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