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Warning 'flasher'


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Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#2
I don't understand - no. really. I am a bloke, a chap, I read all the time about male predators and voyeurists and I just don't get it! What is it that they think they gain by exposing their genitalia to female strangers?
??? No, really, I just don't understand - apparently this is common in many countries, I have a female friend in England who is a hiker and has found it so common that she even has a ready made response "Oh, that looks like a penis but much much smaller" and then she walks on ...
I am so sorry - we are not all like this!!
 
#5
NOTE FROM THE MODERATORS: Though some may treat incidents like these lightly and with sarcasm, others are quite traumatized. Comments should be sensitive to that fact. Here are some suggestions:

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

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

Consider downloading this App issued by the Spanish government:

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

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

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

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

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

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Aussie Cossie Tanya

Walk over the day or the day will walk over you:)
Camino(s) past & future
June 2014
#8
Not one to dampen any humour nor desirious of inducing any fear, but having near a couple of decades as a police officer, I can say with far too much experience that every serious offender started off their criminality somewhere, often with seemingly minor offensive behaviour. "Flashers" value the 'shock' value of their exposure actions and often become bolder and get more cunning over-time, particularly with a nomadic audience such as that on the Caminos. Cannot stress enough the importance of awareness and encourage caution on this issue. Even seemingly trivial pieces of information are so valuable to paint an often blank canvas of this type of offender. Your report to local police may just save someone a tonne of grief and trauma.

Cheers
 
#9
Not one to dampen any humour nor desirious of inducing any fear, but having near a couple of decades as a police officer, I can say with far too much experience that every serious offender started off their criminality somewhere, often with seemingly minor offensive behaviour. "Flashers" value the 'shock' value of their exposure actions and often become bolder and get more cunning over-time, particularly with a nomadic audience such as that on the Caminos. Cannot stress enough the importance of awareness and encourage caution on this issue. Even seemingly trivial pieces of information are so valuable to paint an often blank canvas of this type of offender. Your report to local police may just save someone a tonne of grief and trauma.

Cheers
Sending many likes to this post! For the peregrinas who are subjected to this, please take the extra effort to make sure that you report it to the authorities. It may be a hassle, and you might prefer just to get on with things, but without reporting, the problem can never be solved. You can be sure that the multiple Spanish police forces are quite interested in preserving the safety of the Camino and will take the report seriously. Though there may be some legal and bureaucratic problems with pursuing formal legal action in some instances, the informal tools available to the police are frequently quite good at identifying the perpetrator, getting the family involved, and hopefully providing some guidance for a proper course of action.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(Sept 2018 planned)
#10
I wonder how they would react if you took a picture... I would also encourage everyone to buddy up or at least try to stay at least in eyesight of other peregrinas (or peregrinos). I know sometimes you just want to be alone, but you would be less likely to experience this type of intrusion if the guy looks around and sees other people coming.
 
Camino(s) past & future
asd asdsadsa asdsa
#12
[QUOTE="...

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

[/QUOTE]

Does anyone know if you need the "+34" country code before the 112?
for those of use using a international travel plan on their phone...
 

Gillyweb

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Villafranca - Santiago (2013)
SJPP - Santiago (2014)
Portugues (2017)
#13
The same thing happened to me on the river route into Burgos three years ago. A chap appeared out of the bushes indulging in a 'little play'. I didn't even think to report it - I didn't think anyone would be interested. Perhaps in retrospect I should have done. I confess I did choose in the moment to laugh at him as I assumed shock was what he was hoping for, and it didn't especially disturb me as there were plenty of other people around so I wasn't afraid - plus I considered him and his like to be a sad fools. Reading about the increase in this however I would probably behave differently now and make a report.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
#14
Peregrina2000, not all of us are Spanish or Englishspeaking, I guess that even if I have learnt some English, I would have a problem with reporting to the 112 in English, it is not the vocabulary I learnt in my English studies. And with my lowfearconcern about flashers, since I have met a lot of them in Norway, I guess I wouldn't bother trying to convince a local policeman in Spain that I have been offended. But I see the point of ACT of course, but it might be a fence to climb to report. Fresh in mind my visit to the local police when I was robbed on the return from one of my first caminoes.
 
#15
Peregrina2000, not all of us are Spanish or Englishspeaking, I guess that even if I have learnt some English, I would have a problem with reporting to the 112 in English, it is not the vocabulary I learnt in my English studies. And with my lowfearconcern about flashers, since I have met a lot of them in Norway, I guess I wouldn't bother trying to convince a local policeman in Spain that I have been offended. But I see the point of ACT of course, but it might be a fence to climb to report. Fresh in mind my visit to the local police when I was robbed on the return from one of my first caminoes.
Hi, ranthr, that's a good point. I think that probably the easiest thing to do is to find a fellow pilgrim to help you report it at the next police station or to the next police officer you find. On one of my early caminos on the Francés in 2005 or 2006, I was flashed coming in to Los Arcos. And it was a bit more threatening in that a guy got out of a car driven by someone else and then began but got back into the car and went away as I in my anxious fog shouted something. I was too shook up that evening and didn't think about reporting anything at the station, but the next morning it occurred to me that I should have. Well, there were some sanitation workers cleaning the streets and I told them what had happened and asked that they relay my concerns. Would you believe that over the next few nights I heard from several pilgrims that they had seen police cars talking to people and even asking if they had seen two people in a car like the one I described to the workers! My point is only that even informal "reporting" can be a good thing, sensitizing local authorities to the fact that it's a problem and allowing them to do some investigation.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#16
Twice and maybe even three times creepy incidents happened to me this year and I did nothing.
The first time because I was struggling with the flu and was so tired that I just couldn't cope with reporting anything with my beginner Spanish language skills. And besides some guy who was so obviously struggling to jerk off and was on the other side of the river was not high on my list of worries. But don't take the Burgos river route alone.
The second time I was equally as tired but more importantly it was really late in day and I needed a bed. There were enough women in the albergue to make me feel safe and I headed off really early the next morning. I still feel guilty about not doing anything about this second one because owner hospitaleros have positions of power. But in my defense, he would have argued that walking in on me naked was an accident.
PS Believe me taking pictures is not a good idea when there is no one else around. Best to just get out of there. And call 112.
Mind you if there were any cars parked in really unusual places or doing anything that made me feel uncomfortable I took a pic of the number plate.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Camino September 2017.
Planning Camino Primitivo May 2018.
#17
This happened on the CP a few weeks ago, between Redondela and Pontevedra. It happened to two U.K. women in their 60's who we'd seen a few times and chatted to, they were very very shook. They'd seen his car pass on the road above where they were climbing and when they got up onto the road his car was parked about 20 meters away, he beckoned them over and being friendly sorts and it being the middle of the day and all they just walked a bit closer, at which point they realised he was naked from the waist down in the car and 'ready to go' in their words. He pointed to his crotch saying 'dick dick' (eloquent chap) and the woman in front snorted at him, dismissed him with a wave and they walked away. But they were as I say, unsurprisingly, very shook afterwards. We stayed with them for a bit and helped them find their accommodation. It made me and my friend very nervous the next day walking into the forest especially when a car had passed us revving its engine at us then stopped down the road.. We went into that forest with both sets of walking sticks ready let me tell you! Some right scumbags out there unfortunately. :/
 
#18
Up until a few years ago, these incidents only took place on the Camino Francés. Now we hear stories from the Portugués, Primitivo, and Norte. So this suggests that the problems gravitate to caminos as they gain lots of traffic. I have seen five or six of these creeps on the Francés over the years, but since I started walking solitary caminos, I have not seen one. Kind of counter-intuitive, but you are much more likely to be free from the perverts on the Levante, Olvidado, Invierno, Vadiniense, Ebro, Castellano-Aragonés, etc, where it's just you, the natural environment around you, your demons and your gods.

But I can't resist echoing my refrain -- REPORT this to someone nearby. It need not be a formal report, but the authorities will look for this guy and are likely to find him. The perpetrators are local and likely known if you are outside a city. If women don't say anything, nothing happens.
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
From Somport Jul-Sep 2018
#19
...
Does anyone know if you need the "+34" country code before the 112?
for those of use using a international travel plan on their phone...
You do not need the country code, only 112 .
' "112" is the European emergency number people in distress can call 24h/24 and 7d/7 in all 28 member states of the European Union...'
https://www.112.be/en/faq-112.html
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#21
@peregrina2000 advice is spot on. Even if you don't call 112 or file formal report of the incident to Guardia Civil/Policia Municipal at least talk to bar owners, albergue hospitalera/os etc. Spanish are very proud of being such tourist destination as is and especially proud of the Camino(s) they won't let these kind of things happening in vicinity of their villages or towns. They really do have profound sense of honor.
 

Aussie Cossie Tanya

Walk over the day or the day will walk over you:)
Camino(s) past & future
June 2014
#22
I am sending love and kindness to those that have been the unfortunate victim of these crimes. We should never accept or normalise this behaviour, regardless of our views or vulnerability levels. Nor should we have to worry about experiencing this either taking a walk around the block or across a country. Please, please, please, tell people of your experiences at the next villiage. Trust me, talk of this in any villiage or town gets around and will make it's way to police. At the very least tell the person/s where you are staying and ask them to contact police on your behalf. Leave your contact details in case police want to talk to you. Again, I assure you, however remote you think your sliver of information may be, it may just be that missing jigsaw puzzle piece that stops another person becoming a victim.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Many more to come in my future God willing !
#23
I am sending love and kindness to those that have been the unfortunate victim of these crimes. We should never accept or normalise this behaviour, regardless of our views or vulnerability levels. Nor should we have to worry about experiencing this either taking a walk around the block or across a country. Please, please, please, tell people of your experiences at the next villiage. Trust me, talk of this in any villiage or town gets around and will make it's way to police. At the very least tell the person/s where you are staying and ask them to contact police on your behalf. Leave your contact details in case police want to talk to you. Again, I assure you, however remote you think your sliver of information may be, it may just be that missing jigsaw puzzle piece that stops another person becoming a victim.
That "missing jigsaw piece" has solve many of crimes all over the world. The thing that you think is of non value often turns up to be the one link to solving even murders....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Beginning last week of September 2017
#24
NOTE FROM THE MODERATORS: Though some may treat incidents like these lightly and with sarcasm, others are quite traumatized. Comments should be sensitive to that fact. Here are some suggestions:

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.
Thank you!
 

Glenn Rowe

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
#25
NOTE FROM THE MODERATORS: Though some may treat incidents like these lightly and with sarcasm, others are quite traumatized. Comments should be sensitive to that fact. Here are some suggestions:

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.
My post may have seemed flippant, but it was not. Apologies to all who may have been offended.

Generally speaking (though there are exceptions), people who expose themselves to others represent no physical/sexual threat to their victims. They count on the shock value for their satisfaction. Pointing and laughing is one sure way to remove said satisfaction.

Like Doctor Phil, I have "more degrees than a thermometer" and have considerable knowledge in this area.

Now, first and foremost, one should always take care of one's safety.
 

Karenmc49

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
No pasts...want to plan the Camino for May 2018
#26
Yesterday a peregrine was confronted with a man who exposed himself. This happened between Sarria and Ferreiros. She said to him she would call the police and he said 'no police' and went away. She was ok and thats all I know.
Why would you not take the person’s photo?
Wouldn’t that help the police identify the person, or is it too dangerous and one might get knocked on the head for your trouble.
I’m new to the forum and have lots of questions..do people carry a whistle?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#27
Generally speaking (though there are exceptions), people who expose themselves to others represent no physical/sexual threat to their victims.
From what I have read you are correct but let's give emphasis on there are exceptions. Even an expert in the field would not be able to tell with certainty within a short period of time and when in shock whether the pervert in front of her might transition into a rage if humiliated.
They count on the shock value for their satisfaction. Pointing and laughing is one sure way to remove said satisfaction.
But it may also cause humiliation leading to violence. Doing one's best to show no shock would also reduce the pervert's satisfaction and is probably the better course. Also, while laughing or belittling the man may work for a victim in one situation, a number of incidents like this might possibly, over time, convert the pervert into a more dangerous type.
Like Doctor Phil, I have "more degrees than a thermometer" and have considerable knowledge in this area.
I tried very hard to find advice on the web from knowledgeable people on what to do in a flashing situation but I was just swamped with so many pages of light-heartedness to be able to find any.
 
#28
I know that @Kanga (who is now blissfully on the Camino and unlikely to weigh in while she is enjoying walking) has had experience in this from the legal side and was the person who alerted me to the real, even if not huge, possibility that the perpetrator could have a very bad reaction, which would result in physical harm to the woman. I think that even if this is statistically a small percentage, we would be crazy to recommend that women laugh, shout, point, photograph, or do anything other than ignore and walk very quickly.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Many more to come in my future God willing !
#30
Why would you not take the person’s photo?
Wouldn’t that help the police identify the person, or is it too dangerous and one might get knocked on the head for your trouble.
I’m new to the forum and have lots of questions..do people carry a whistle?
Welcome to the "Club" !
 

Katerina7

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Primitivo (2016), Camino Portugués por la costa (2017)
#32
Not one to dampen any humour nor desirious of inducing any fear, but having near a couple of decades as a police officer, I can say with far too much experience that every serious offender started off their criminality somewhere, often with seemingly minor offensive behaviour. "Flashers" value the 'shock' value of their exposure actions and often become bolder and get more cunning over-time, particularly with a nomadic audience such as that on the Caminos. Cannot stress enough the importance of awareness and encourage caution on this issue. Even seemingly trivial pieces of information are so valuable to paint an often blank canvas of this type of offender. Your report to local police may just save someone a tonne of grief and trauma.

Cheers
Some advice from a police officer is much appreciated. What is the safest/best way to proceed in such situation? I've heard, it's best to shout some insults at a flasher, but is it really? What about taking photograph? It may be useful to identify the offender, but may cause aggression.

Regarding the 112 emergency number, I have read that there are English-speaking operators in Spain, but the only time I ever dialed 112 was in Portugal, during my recent Camino, and I found that they did not have or could not connect me to any English-speaking, or even Spanish-speaking operator. I am fluent in Spanish, but speak no Portuguese. The operator was patient with my communication efforts, though and eventually help was sent (I foolishly fell into the bush of blackberries and a big stone pinned my leg to the ground so I could not move - quite a story for a black comedy film).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
#34
Reading these accounts makes me quite shocked and saddened that this has happened to so many peregrinas! I think that next time I do the camino I will take a whistle and definitely program that number into my phone. Also thank you for sharing the informatinon about 112. I did not have any flashing incidents thank Goodness but will know to be more wary in the future.

I did encounter a local cow shepherd, I guess he was with his horse and his two dogs on the ascent of O'Cebreiro. I often exchanged words with locals I ran into and had only had good experiences up until then. He was an older man. He asked me if I didn’t have a “companero” and if I was “solitera” and I made the mistake of saying yes. He started going on about making love in the countryside (hacer amor en el campo) and how life is short and you shouldn't be alone and how it’s good for health and good for your camino and stuff or at least I thought that was what he was saying (my Spanish is not very good). I was laughing along for a while but he kept going on and on and I started wondering if he was propositioning me. I finally said I needed to continue walking and he wished me a Buen Camino and I kept walking on.

I didn't necessarily feel unsafe but it was a stretch where I was completely alone and it did make me feel quite vulnerable. There were several stretches, particularly in the early morning before dawn where I was alone where I did feel a bit vulnerable. I think having a whistle would make me feel a bit better. Generally though it seemed there were usually people around and I knew there was a town or some type of civilization coming up.

Thank you for these posting these warnings.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Finesterre 2015
VdlP 2017
#35
I think a whistle is a good idea. Many Osprey packs (if not all) have a whistle built into the buckle of the sternum/chest strap.
I keep one attached to my jacket zipper pull as well, just in case I need it when I'm not wearing my pack. A person can blow a whistle for a lot longer than she can scream, and it carries farther in wind or hilly terrain.
 
Camino(s) past & future
PC - LIS to SdC (16), VdlP - SV to SdC(17). Mozarabe - Almeria /Merida April (18)
#37
I am still waiting for my first experience witha Flasher. I can laugh so loud, and take a picture for the Police at the same time.
It is NOT a funny or laughing matter.... they target single women or women in 2's. It is actually quite scary as has happened to me 3 times whilst walking alone and all around 8am. Not just flashing but masturbating. Twice it was the same guy who followed me in his car just outside of Coimbra on Caminho Portuguese. The 3rd one was just outside of Santiago... There are numerous accounts of many men assaulting women in this way along the Caminos on the Iberian Peninsula. It's almost like a sense of entitlement !! Yes I reported it to the police but didn't really feel like they cared .... and yes I took a photo of his license plate. Most importantly I alerted all female pilgrims enroute !
 
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#38
It is NOT a funny or laughing matter.... they target single women or women in 2's. It is actually quite scary as has happened to me 3 times whilst waling alone and all around 8am. Not just flashing but masturbating. Twice it was the same guy who followed me in his car just outside of Coimbra on Caminho Portuguese. The 3 rd one was just outside of Santiago... There are numerous accounts of many men assaulting women in this way along the caminos on the Iberian Peninsula. It's almost like a sense of entitlement !! Yes I reported it to the police but didn't really feel like they cared ....
I am certainly sorry for the traumatic experiences of you and anyone else. I take it as an encounter that the assailant will not forget, because of how it will go very wrong for them. This comes from committing to myself a very long time ago to never allow myself to be a victim. That is what they are really out there for, to make victims of unsuspecting women.
 
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#39
I am still waiting for my first experience witha Flasher. I can laugh so loud, and take a picture for the Police at the same time.
Well I really do hope you will not encounter a flasher!!
It is all very "interesting" to have theories what you would do , but in reality?
Imho it is not a laughing matter.

Again to all future pilgrims : report to authorities when you are the victim of a flasher.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#40
If you want a whistle check out the ones made by All-Weather Whistle Company. Their Storm whistle is big and loud, they say the loudest on the market. They also have a smaller one. But if you are wearing the large yellow one that might be seen and perhaps prevent an incident. They are a women owned company and the firm that packages the product hires disabled people.

I've seen the whistles for sale in sports and boating shops but you can get them online too. http://www.stormwhistles.com/
 
#41
It is not a theory. In my 34 years as head instructor at my Aikido & Ki Dojo, I have trained thousands in many aspects of pure defense.

Exhibitionists will rarely take an encounter further if they are not able to draw shock and fear from their victim. It is essential to have the mindset that you can never be a victim.

If it happens, do not acknowledge them in any way beyond disgust and promises to call Police. Get a pic if possible, only for identification. If approached, first walk away, head for safety. On the Camino, I know this can be difficult but it will likely be better to turn around and go back the way you came until finding safety or until finding other peregrinos / peregrinas.

Hope this helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF, August- September (2015)
El Norte, August-September (2017)
#42
I was flashed a few weeks ago on the Norte after Santander and before Santa Cruz de Bezana, but maybe I should put that in a different thread. He has apparently done that to 6-7 young peregrinas this summer, never to peregrinos. We did contact the police, and they did come. I don't know if he's been caught yet or not. I'll see if I can find out.
 
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#43
It is not a theory. In my 34 years as head instructor at my Aikido & Ki Dojo, I have trained thousands in many aspects of pure defense.

Exhibitionists will rarely take an encounter further if they are not able to draw shock and fear from their victim. It is essential to have the mindset that you can never be a victim.

If it happens, do not acknowledge them in any way beyond disgust and promises to call Police. Get a pic if possible, only for identification. If approached, first walk away, head for safety. On the Camino, I know this can be difficult but it will likely be better to turn around and go back the way you came until finding safety or until finding other peregrinos / peregrinas.

Hope this helps.
If this is your approach and it helps you then that is good for you. But please do not assume that even with the right mindset you can never be a victim. To me that depends on so many other factors. Even more ,people ( yes men and women ) are abroad walking a Camino in a foreign country. For one person a flasher can be a trauma, for another it is not .

I refer to post 28 and 29 from the moderators on this thread regarding how to handle an encounter with a flasher on a Camino. I still think that is the best advice possible.

I don't think I can add more to this.



Thank you.
 
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Aussie Cossie Tanya

Walk over the day or the day will walk over you:)
Camino(s) past & future
June 2014
#44
Some advice from a police officer is much appreciated. What is the safest/best way to proceed in such situation? I've heard, it's best to shout some insults at a flasher, but is it really? What about taking photograph? It may be useful to identify the offender, but may cause aggression.

Regarding the 112 emergency number, I have read that there are English-speaking operators in Spain, but the only time I ever dialed 112 was in Portugal, during my recent Camino, and I found that they did not have or could not connect me to any English-speaking, or even Spanish-speaking operator. I am fluent in Spanish, but speak no Portuguese. The operator was patient with my communication efforts, though and eventually help was sent (I foolishly fell into the bush of blackberries and a big stone pinned my leg to the ground so I could not move - quite a story for a black comedy film).
As a police officer, and prosecutor the best form of information and evidence is photographic, video, and contemporaneous notes and observations. That is, notes taken by the witness as soon as possible. As soon as it is safe to do so, stop and write it all out in anyway you can. Note the time, date and place (gps readings are great) car description, colour, make and model, registration details etc. Note if it has damage or something that makes it stand out. Write it all up asap as you will forget and the details will get murky. The smallest detail can help police so much. With an offender, try memorising from head to toe and back again. Age, clothes, tattoos, scars, accent, words used etc and if your unfortunate enough to be so close, any smells.

Now thats all great from the safety of a cops point of view and any investigator will greatly appreciate it as your making their job so much easier.

BUT.... you have NO idea where the offenders mental health status is at. Nor their intention, ability, or if they are under the influenced of drug or alcohol. Taking a photo may just snap them as they would be concerned about your ability to now identify them. So please make YOUR safety the priority. Get as far away from the situation as possible. Never laugh, point, or draw attention to the fact you saw them. Do any photography discretely. Laughing or even looking at some people can make them very angry and unpredictable. As a solo female traveller, how I react in one situation could be totally different in another. Don't let fear of others behaviour, stop you doing anything. Just be conscious and aware of it, just as you would with any other crime and again REPORT REPORT REPORT IT..

Cheers Tanya

P.S. My lovely daughter and I start from SJPP 1st week of May 18. Happy for anyone nervous to walk our way
 
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falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#45
As a police officer, and prosecutor the best form of information and evidence is photographic, video, and contemporaneous notes and observations.
In Spain, the threshold issue for "flashing" is whether it is illegal! You can have all the evidence in the world on offensive behavior, but there has to be a criminal act for any real results. The police may roust flashers, but I think that they are never prosecuted just for nudity (unless in the presence of minors or incompetents). ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#46
If it happens, do not acknowledge them in any way beyond disgust and promises to call Police. Get a pic if possible, only for identification. If approached, first walk away, head for safety. On the Camino,
This advice is good (as long as the photo is done without drama) but your earlier statement about laughing so loud was contrary to it.

As far as "committing" to never being a victim, I don't quite understand this. What is a "victim" anyway? I am a confident self-sufficient person who goes about life doing my best to stay safe. I have been a victim of various acts (fortunately nothing serious), so I take appropriate steps to avoid or manage those situations in the future. My commitment isn't going to keep the flashers off the road.
 
#47
In Spain, the threshold issue for "flashing" is whether it is illegal! You can have all the evidence in the world on offensive behavior, but there has to be a criminal act for any real results. The police may roust flashers, but I think that they are never prosecuted just for nudity (unless in the presence of minors or incompetents). ;)
My understanding of the legal situation in Spain is the same as falcon's. Nudity is not illegal, but it is illegal to invade the "personal autonomy" of another person. A Spanish prosecutor has explained to me that that standard MAY mean that someone who masturbates in public could be prosecuted depending on the circumstances, but that usually only happens with minors or others not deemed capable of consent by the law.

BUT.... having said that, I hope it doesn't dissuade people from reporting. The police has a whole arsenal of informal tools that they can use in cases like this, and when a perp is identified, you can be sure that they will do what they can to remove him and eliminate the problem. The camino is too valuable a resource and they know it. Most frequently, these things happen in rural areas, and in the small towns everyone knows everyone. Social norms go a long way to help solve the problem. So, please keep on reporting!!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
PC - LIS to SdC (16), VdlP - SV to SdC(17). Mozarabe - Almeria /Merida April (18)
#48
I was flashed a few weeks ago on the Norte after Santander and before Santa Cruz de Bezana, but maybe I should put that in a different thread. He has apparently done that to 6-7 young peregrinas this summer, never to peregrinos. We did contact the police, and they did come. I don't know if he's been caught yet or not. I'll see if I can find out.
Thank you for the info as it is so important to warn other women. I should have posted these dreadful experiences last Oct when I arrived home but chose to bury it. It is so important to have an open conversation about this. Information is power.
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#49
Not one to dampen any humour nor desirious of inducing any fear, but having near a couple of decades as a police officer, I can say with far too much experience that every serious offender started off their criminality somewhere, often with seemingly minor offensive behaviour. "Flashers" value the 'shock' value of their exposure actions and often become bolder and get more cunning over-time, particularly with a nomadic audience such as that on the Caminos. Cannot stress enough the importance of awareness and encourage caution on this issue. Even seemingly trivial pieces of information are so valuable to paint an often blank canvas of this type of offender. Your report to local police may just save someone a tonne of grief and trauma.

Cheers
I once had a conversation with a (female) guardia civil on the north coast who had been involved in dealing with two of these incidents. While she said that most of these offenders were pathetic, she said that for some this was the first step in a series of offences which often ended in tragedy. She was pleased that she was able to help with these two incidents.

Speaking with pilgrims preparing for the Camino, I have always strongly advised them to report, each time and every time, any incident to the police. Peregrino2000's advice is great. From conversations with this guardia and with others, the Spanish authorities have a wide range of tools to deal with offenders (she told me that the guardia have a role as "agents of civil solidarity" which they take seriously) as the welfare of pilgrims is important to them, not only for the obvious economic reasons but also that they believe it is a matter of honour for them to do so.

Ensure your safety and then call 112. Each time, every time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2016
#50
I am certainly sorry for the traumatic experiences of you and anyone else. I take it as an encounter that the assailant will not forget, because of how it will go very wrong for them. This comes from committing to myself a very long time ago to never allow myself to be a victim. That is what they are really out there for, to make victims of unsuspecting women.
I think that puts you in a very dangerous position. If he doesn't want to be "found out", you never know what will unfold. I would take the standard protocol of getting out and reporting and warning other pilgrims.
 
#51
I think that puts you in a very dangerous position. If he doesn't want to be "found out", you never know what will unfold. I would take the standard protocol of getting out and reporting and warning other pilgrims.
From the responses received on this topic, I find there are two sides, and that was expected. There are those who have had violent experiences and those who have not. I pray for those who have lived through violence and am very happy that it was survived. Yes, it can be traumatic.

For those who have not seen violence, I pray that you never do.

For me, I have seen violence, too much. I minded my own business throughout my life. And I did that too much as well. One night, I witnessed a man beating a woman, and I did nothing to stop it. That guilt remains with me now and will remain with me. That event changed me. I felt that I was a victim also. I could never remove the pain inflicted on her. I could not go back and stop it from happeneing.

When I found Aikido & Ki, it was being taught by my own church Minister. He retired a few years later and passed the school on to me to continue. Over the decades, I went through a number of stages, including humbleness, confidence and then back to being very humble, knowing the power and extent of my growing abilities.

Aikido is a purely defensive art. It teaches no offensive movements or ideoogy.

Being a victim is giving control over. It is not a state that anyone wishes. In the case of an exhibitionist, first, the assailant suffers from a mental disorder. If knowing exatly what to do when presented with a flasher, consult local authorities. I have done that annually since 1983, as well as extensive studies into the cause, diagnosis and prescribed treatment of this and many other disorders that can germinate the potential for violent behavior. Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals III, IV and the most recent Edition V will provide all that information.

Why study psychological disorders so deeply? To understand an attacker before the attack is to ensure a positive outcome. Win / Lose has nothing to do with this. That is the essence of Aikido.

The meaning of Aikido will explain;

Ai - Harmony, working "together."

Ki - inner energy, same as Chi in Chinese, ie, Tai Chi, or life frce

Do - (pronounced doe), way, path, way of living.

In the use of Aikido, I am responsible for the well being of my attacker, to blend with their attacking energy, turn it around to show the error of it and finish with an outcome that does no damage, and promotes understanding.

If it were not being offered by my own Minister when I began training, I may not have continued, to this day. In our many discussions, the topic of Aikido being the most Christian of the martial arts, was a main topic. Kung Fu shares these same values. Most other martial arts are supposed to do the same but get muddied by many things such as personal ego and do not forget Hollywood, not very well known for its grasp of integrity.

To sum up, everything I have contributed to this thread, story, issue, comes from my professional experience which is backed by decades of psychological research and understanding, and the continuous instruction from Police Authorities. Will I laugh? Likely. It is recommended to shame the asailant and demean his actions. Would that anger and promote an attack? Not likely. Attack is a very large step for an exhibitionist. Regardless of how anyone chooses to handle this type of issue on the Camnio or anywhere else, understand first that the assailant is in need of psychological help. There is no shame in having a mental disorder and there should be no shame in it being recognized and treated.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2016
#52
From the responses received on this topic, I find there are two sides, and that was expected. There are those who have had violent experiences and those who have not. I pray for those who have lived through violence and am very happy that it was survived. Yes, it can be traumatic.

For those who have not seen violence, I pray that you never do.

For me, I have seen violence, too much. I minded my own business throughout my life. And I did that too much as well. One night, I witnessed a man beating a woman, and I did nothing to stop it. That guilt remains with me now and will remain with me. That event changed me. I felt that I was a victim also. I could never remove the pain inflicted on her. I could not go back and stop it from happeneing.

When I found Aikido & Ki, it was being taught by my own church Minister. He retired a few years later and passed the school on to me to continue. Over the decades, I went through a number of stages, including humbleness, confidence and then back to being very humble, knowing the power and extent of my growing abilities.

Aikido is a purely defensive art. It teaches no offensive movements or ideoogy.

Being a victim is giving control over. It is not a state that anyone wishes. In the case of an exhibitionist, first, the assailant suffers from a mental disorder. If knowing exatly what to do when presented with a flasher, consult local authorities. I have done that annually since 1983, as well as extensive studies into the cause, diagnosis and prescribed treatment of this and many other disorders that can germinate the potential for violent behavior. Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals III, IV and the most recent Edition V will provide all that information.

Why study psychological disorders so deeply? To understand an attacker before the attack is to ensure a positive outcome. Win / Lose has nothing to do with this. That is the essence of Aikido.

The meaning of Aikido will explain;

Ai - Harmony, working "together."

Ki - inner energy, same as Chi in Chinese, ie, Tai Chi, or life frce

Do - (pronounced doe), way, path, way of living.

In the use of Aikido, I am responsible for the well being of my attacker, to blend with their attacking energy, turn it around to show the error of it and finish with an outcome that does no damage, and promotes understanding.

If it were not being offered by my own Minister when I began training, I may not have continued, to this day. In our many discussions, the topic of Aikido being the most Christian of the martial arts, was a main topic. Kung Fu shares these same values. Most other martial arts are supposed to do the same but get muddied by many things such as personal ego and do not forget Hollywood, not very well known for its grasp of integrity.

To sum up, everything I have contributed to this thread, story, issue, comes from my professional experience which is backed by decades of psychological research and understanding, and the continuous instruction from Police Authorities. Will I laugh? Likely. It is recommended to shame the asailant and demean his actions. Would that anger and promote an attack? Not likely. Attack is a very large step for an exhibitionist. Regardless of how anyone chooses to handle this type of issue on the Camnio or anywhere else, understand first that the assailant is in need of psychological help. There is no shame in having a mental disorder and there should be no shame in it being recognized and treated.
I'm not saying don't do anything about it and remain a victim. Just saying pay attention to your intuition and be smart about how you react. That's all.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances, Roncesvalles to SdC 2010
C. Frances, SJPDP to Sdc 2012
C.Frances,SJPDP to Finisterre 2014
C.Portuguese, Lisbon to SdC(hopscotch) Sept. 2015
C. Frances SJPDP to Muxia 2017
#53
Reading these accounts makes me quite shocked and saddened that this has happened to so many peregrinas! I think that next time I do the camino I will take a whistle and definitely program that number into my phone. Also thank you for sharing the informatinon about 112. I did not have any flashing incidents thank Goodness but will know to be more wary in the future.

I did encounter a local cow shepherd, I guess he was with his horse and his two dogs on the ascent of O'Cebreiro. I often exchanged words with locals I ran into and had only had good experiences up until then. He was an older man. He asked me if I didn’t have a “companero” and if I was “solitera” and I made the mistake of saying yes. He started going on about making love in the countryside (hacer amor en el campo) and how life is short and you shouldn't be alone and how it’s good for health and good for your camino and stuff or at least I thought that was what he was saying (my Spanish is not very good). I was laughing along for a while but he kept going on and on and I started wondering if he was propositioning me. I finally said I needed to continue walking and he wished me a Buen Camino and I kept walking on.

I didn't necessarily feel unsafe but it was a stretch where I was completely alone and it did make me feel quite vulnerable. There were several stretches, particularly in the early morning before dawn where I was alone where I did feel a bit vulnerable. I think having a whistle would make me feel a bit better. Generally though it seemed there were usually people around and I knew there was a town or some type of civilization coming up.

Thank you for these posting these warnings.

I also encountered this man in the the same area, same conversation. I am fluent in Spanish and that is indeed what he was saying. I also started to feel very uncomfortable and just then a group of three pilgrims reached us and I walked off, looking back more freuently than usual. This was in June of this year.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
#55
I also encountered this man in the the same area, same conversation. I am fluent in Spanish and that is indeed what he was saying. I also started to feel very uncomfortable and just then a group of three pilgrims reached us and I walked off, looking back more freuently than usual. This was in June of this year.
Wow La Barre! Thank you for telling me. I had a very uneasy feeling during and after my encounter with this man. It was early in the morning in my case but there were so many pilgrims that set out at the base of O'Cebreiro around the same time as me that I kept expecting them to come by at any moment but they never did. I was totally alone in that moment on the mountain and it felt quite disconcerting and uncomfortable. Thank God he left me alone. I guess he gets a rise out of saying this to peregrinas who are on their own.
 

yaying

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
somehow someday...
#56
no one can tell how we can react specially on a shocking manner, but hope everyone can manage to respond... a leisurely stroll tag along safety precautions!
 

MichelleyO

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
#57
Not one to dampen any humour nor desirious of inducing any fear, but having near a couple of decades as a police officer, I can say with far too much experience that every serious offender started off their criminality somewhere, often with seemingly minor offensive behaviour. "Flashers" value the 'shock' value of their exposure actions and often become bolder and get more cunning over-time, particularly with a nomadic audience such as that on the Caminos. Cannot stress enough the importance of awareness and encourage caution on this issue. Even seemingly trivial pieces of information are so valuable to paint an often blank canvas of this type of offender. Your report to local police may just save someone a tonne of grief and trauma.

Cheers
You are so bang on! Marking or making rude remarks could get somebody very hurt.
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
#58
If you want to report an incident and you do not speak the language, use a translator on your mobile and keep your written sentences short and clear. (That is the best way to use a digital translator.)

As for taking pictures under stress, I agree with all the reasons mentioned for not doing that, plus my own experience ... I once tried to do that when someone was dumping soil next to my land. My hands were so unsteady that I only pictured the sky. I did not notice that till later and the other party did not know that at all, but at the time it did little to relieve the tension, in fact things got worse. Nothing was gained by taking those 'pictures', quite the contrary. I was fortunate to have the luxury and protection of being near my own house, I wasn't carrying a backpack somewhere on a lonely road in a foreign country.

Taking a picture of the license plate when you are nearing a suspicious car and before anything happens (if at all) is a wise precaution.
 
#59
As a police officer, and prosecutor the best form of information and evidence is photographic, video, and contemporaneous notes and observations. That is, notes taken by the witness as soon as possible. As soon as it is safe to do so, stop and write it all out in anyway you can. Note the time, date and place (gps readings are great) car description, colour, make and model, registration details etc. Note if it has damage or something that makes it stand out. Write it all up asap as you will forget and the details will get murky. The smallest detail can help police so much. With an offender, try memorising from head to toe and back again. Age, clothes, tattoos, scars, accent, words used etc and if your unfortunate enough to be so close, any smells.

Now thats all great from the safety of a cops point of view and any investigator will greatly appreciate it as your making their job so much easier.

BUT.... you have NO idea where the offenders mental health status is at. Nor their intention, ability, or if they are under the influenced of drug or alcohol. Taking a photo may just snap them as they would be concerned about your ability to now identify them. So please make YOUR safety the priority. Get as far away from the situation as possible. Never laugh, point, or draw attention to the fact you saw them. Do any photography discretely. Laughing or even looking at some people can make them very angry and unpredictable. As a solo female traveller, how I react in one situation could be totally different in another. Don't let fear of others behaviour, stop you doing anything. Just be conscious and aware of it, just as you would with any other crime and again REPORT REPORT REPORT IT..

Cheers Tanya

P.S. My lovely daughter and I start from SJPP 1st week of May 18. Happy for anyone nervous to walk our way
Very sound advice.

For some men, ridicule and mocking laughter might be the last straw.
Acting as if you haven’t even noticed is probably far safer.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France (May and June 2017)
Portuguese Camino (May and June 2018)
Possibly Le-Puy or Norte
#61
Well, hello all.
I posted about similar incidents that I had during my recent Camino (Portuguese route)
Been a month since I came back. I don't think about it anymore but still it is traumatic.
My love towards Camino is still intact but it is sad that I don't see Camino in the same way as before.
I will be better prepared for any possible flashers on my next Camino. Who said they are harmless? Well, I don't quite agree with that. People who decide to take time to walk the Camino have already made one of the big decisions in their lives (I think) and walking every step on the Camino is not quite the same as walking back home and suddenly Boom, there they are, flashing to these serious life meaning seekers, meditating while walking, full of ideas and thoughts in their heads. Maybe I sound like exaggerating but I am not.
This is not a mere disturbance nor annoying incidents. It is a serious crime to intrude upon someone who is possibly trying to create the whole different world in their mind and this visual shocks and potential thoughts of being raped and killed if the flasher wants for whatever reasons should be considered as a serious crime.
I wish all the pilgrims out there a safe journey please.
 
#62
Well, hello all.
I posted about similar incidents that I had during my recent Camino (Portuguese route)
Been a month since I came back. I don't think about it anymore but still it is traumatic.
My love towards Camino is still intact but it is sad that I don't see Camino in the same way as before.
I will be better prepared for any possible flashers on my next Camino. Who said they are harmless? Well, I don't quite agree with that. People who decide to take time to walk the Camino have already made one of the big decisions in their lives (I think) and walking every step on the Camino is not quite the same as walking back home and suddenly Boom, there they are, flashing to these serious life meaning seekers, meditating while walking, full of ideas and thoughts in their heads. Maybe I sound like exaggerating but I am not.
This is not a mere disturbance nor annoying incidents. It is a serious crime to intrude upon someone who is possibly trying to create the whole different world in their mind and this visual shocks and potential thoughts of being raped and killed if the flasher wants for whatever reasons should be considered as a serious crime.
I wish all the pilgrims out there a safe journey please.
Hi, Jamie,
I completely agree that these incidents are traumatic and their effects extend well beyond the actual date of occurrence. I think the “harmless” adjective comes from the fact that women are not usually subject to any physical harm, but I agree with you about the psychological harm.

I’ve been walking since 2000, and I have seen this maybe a half dozen times. It has always freaked me out. But it has not dissuaded me from continuing to walk alone. I cannot imagine a year without a camino. But I am resolved, and I hope other women are resolved, to report report report. The authorities are willing and able to act.

As far as the criminality of it goes, national law has been amended to allow local governments to impose fines on those who are guilty of “obscene exhibitionism” or something like that. Though the fines may not be huge, this gives local authorities the ability to “name and shame” and hopefully get the perp out of the line of fire and into treatment.

I wish you many more happy caminos buen camino, Laurie
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#63
Please note that in Spain (and I would imagine in Portugal as well, but cannot confirm that), the emergency number has English-speaking operators handy, as well as in every European language, so you need not worry about trying to report in Spanish.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France (May and June 2017)
Portuguese Camino (May and June 2018)
Possibly Le-Puy or Norte
#64
Please note that in Spain (and I would imagine in Portugal as well, but cannot confirm that), the emergency number has English-speaking operators handy, as well as in every European language, so you need not worry about trying to report in Spanish.
This doesn't apply to me as I happen not to carry a phone. I don't carry a phone when I travel..
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#65
@peregrina2000 advice is spot on. Even if you don't call 112 or file formal report of the incident to Guardia Civil/Policia Municipal at least talk to bar owners, albergue hospitalera/os etc. Spanish are very proud of being such tourist destination as is and especially proud of the Camino(s) they won't let these kind of things happening in vicinity of their villages or towns. They really do have profound sense of honor.
I always wonder what happened to that dirty old (very old) man in Castrojeriz. Anybody know? He liked to grab feels on peregrinas.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#66
Many many years ago, when I was a young sola vagabond, I encountered flashers all the time in my travels. I happened upon these guys on buses, in cities, on boats, in remote rural regions. Their exhibitionism seemed very self-centered, like I was just a prop. It was titillating and turned them on to do this risky thing. I didn't get the sense that it had anything to do, really, with me... I was just the audience. I rolled my eyes and walked on. I didn't have the sense that these guys would ever move onto assaulting me.

Times have changed and we are understandably less accepting. This behaviour is not appropriate. Report it in the next village you visit and give a description.

But don't let it ruin your trip.
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
#67
Many many years ago, when I was a young sola vagabond, I encountered flashers all the time in my travels. I happened upon these guys on buses, in cities, on boats, in remote rural regions. Their exhibitionism seemed very self-centered, like I was just a prop. It was titillating and turned them on to do this risky thing. I didn't get the sense that it had anything to do, really, with me... I was just the audience. I rolled my eyes and walked on. I didn't have the sense that these guys would ever move onto assaulting me.

Times have changed and we are understandably less accepting. This behaviour is not appropriate. Report it in the next village you visit and give a description.

But don't let it ruin your trip.
It is my impression that not only the times have changed, but the flashers as well, for the worse. Perhaps the internet has something to do with that. Rising mobility. Cars. Lack of social cohesion.

May you all have a safe camino and may friends always be near.
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#68
This doesn't apply to me as I happen not to carry a phone. I don't carry a phone when I travel..
It would apply if you are reporting by telephone at the next stop, or if you are speaking with provincial or municipal police-- they will dial up the 112 line as it has interpreters handy-- a (French-speaking) municipal flatfoot in (I think) Luarca told me that this is what local police do if a German-speaking or Italian-speaking traveller has a problem.

Whether or not you carry a cellphone is a personal decision. I detest them, but eventually acquired one for travelling, where I found it to be useful. At home, I have one for family reasons and it stays in my pocket; but I rarely use it more than once or twice a month. On the Camino, I found it to be practical. I try not to be one of those who enter a bar and greet them with a cheerful ¿Hai wifi acquí?
 
Camino(s) past & future
I plan on walking the Camino April 2018.
#69
Not one to dampen any humour nor desirious of inducing any fear, but having near a couple of decades as a police officer, I can say with far too much experience that every serious offender started off their criminality somewhere, often with seemingly minor offensive behaviour. "Flashers" value the 'shock' value of their exposure actions and often become bolder and get more cunning over-time, particularly with a nomadic audience such as that on the Caminos. Cannot stress enough the importance of awareness and encourage caution on this issue. Even seemingly trivial pieces of information are so valuable to paint an often blank canvas of this type of offender. Your report to local police may just save someone a tonne of grief and trauma.

Cheers
Thank you, I don't think laughing or pointing etc. is a good response. Walk away as quickly as possible without responding would I think be a better response, and what I've done when confronted by a flasher.
 

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