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Warning! Flashers near Santander

cassieryle

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Fisterre (2017), Norte(2018), Ingles (2019)
everyone,
Today two female pilgrims that I know of, probably many more, were flashed by two men near a tunnel going under a railway as you’re leaving Santander. Please do not walk alone on this stretch ladies. I’m going to try and get a photo of them and report them to the police. Men, if you see pilgrim ladies walking alone out of Santander, walk with them.
 
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MinaKamina

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
Cassie, thanks for reporting this. If there are two men, please take care. If you cannot take a picture unseen and from a safe distance, don't do it. Better inform the police immediately. Call 112 or use the AlertCops app.
 

cassieryle

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Fisterre (2017), Norte(2018), Ingles (2019)
No worries everyone, i am personally protected by an Irish hobbit and an Austrian giant. Planning to report it once I get exact location. I saw in past threads there were two men near cobreces a few months back doing the same. My guess is it’s the same guys. I’m determined to do something about it. Meanwhile I’m trying to spread the word to those walking this way now to prevent further harm.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2009
Note from the moderators:
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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RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
I am just curious. Has any of the forum members heard of any arrests, prosecutions or convictions of a sexual predator like the deviants in question on this thread?
 

cassieryle

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Fisterre (2017), Norte(2018), Ingles (2019)
Update: since my original post, I’ve heard from several women. Flashers who sound like the same guys have been spotted from Islares to cobreces, a 94km spread. Two men in all cases. It must be the same guys.

If you want to do something productive, report it to Spanish police on behalf of other Pilgrims. Maybe we can get these guys by joining up and reporting as a combine force.
 
D

Deleted member 36903

Guest
I am just curious. Has any of the forum members heard of any arrests, prosecutions or convictions of a sexual predator like the deviants in question on this thread?

Be assured @RJM that it is through the members of this forum that at least two perpetrators have been arrested and brought to justice. I provided a statement of an incident in which I was on the receiving end of obscene actions (this man's behaviour later escalated to physical violence) and this together with the statements from others gave the Guardia the evidence to prosecute. It's always worth posting such incidents here as well as informing the local police.
 
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cassieryle

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Fisterre (2017), Norte(2018), Ingles (2019)
Be assured @RJM that I recall it is through this the members of this forum that at least two perpetrators have been arrested and brought to justice. I provided a statement of an incident in which I was on the receiving end of obscene actions (this man's behaviour later escalated to physical violence) and this together with the statements from others gave the Guardia the evidence to prosecute. It's always worth posting such incidents here as well as informing the local police.
Where and when?
 
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D

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Where and when?

Castrojeriz in 2015 (at least two separate incidents in the same month involving myself and then another peregrina who I met later and we shared our stories). He was finally identified and charged last year, I think. But in the interim had continued accosting women - of all ages - then physically assaulted a peregrina
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
These "flashers" seem to be a reoccurring thing on many Caminos each year. I find it unusual that (by the sounds of the initial report) that two men would be working together to commit this type of crime.
 

tominrm

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I thought I read in this forum that flashing Itself is not a crime in Spain. Guardia Civil is trying to warn the perpetrators not to do it because it affects the tourism. Isn’t it the case?
 

MinaKamina

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
I thought I read in this forum that flashing Itself is not a crime in Spain. Guardia Civil is trying to warn the perpetrators not to do it because it affects the tourism. Isn’t it the case?

Nudity per se is not a crime in public areas in Spain. Flashing, with a sexual intent and the intent to harass women still is.
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Year of past OR future Camino
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
Remember Spain is a very macho country. There are protests going on currently because a group calling themselves the Wolfpack "raped" an eighteen year old girl multiple times. They were charged with sexual abuse not rape. The protests are because of that and because because they are appealing they are being released.
That said, I feel safe because the police are patrolling the Camino, I just returned and saw this many times.
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
Remember Spain is a very macho country. There are protests going on currently because a group calling themselves the Wolfpack "raped" an eighteen year old girl multiple times. They were charged with sexual abuse not rape. The protests are because of that and because because they are appealing they are being released.
That said, I feel safe because the police are patrolling the Camino, I just returned and saw this many times.
I know that there have been many sexual assaults reported during San Fermin, but had not heard of that specific case. Even more disturbing is that those losers self dubbed themselves "the wolf pack". If an attitude of "boys will be boys" does still exist there, let's hope they wake up and take a tougher stance on prosecutions and sentencing in general in all cases.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/20...k-cleared-gang-raping-teenager-bull-festival/
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
In Spain, nudity is not a crime. Public indecency is. The difficulty is getting authorities to differentiate the two. In my mind, flashing is indecent exposure with an intent to assault the sensibilities. It is not simple nudity. I fully expect Spain to not care about what I think!!
 

E7k

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino el Norte (2017)
Wanted to sound the call ... my daughter and I ran into a “wanker” on the footpath to that short ferry which crosses Laredo to Santona. Happened about 4 days ago - at first I thought he was relieving himself, but when we walked back up said footpath he reappeared on the left fully exposed and ...

As it was 9:30 in the morn, I was sufficiently energetic enough still to yell “YOU SICKO!” And he left.

Anyways, be watching - he was all in black, about 5’9, and I think early 30’s.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
I think I would just point and laugh out loud for the purposes of humiliating them...
 
D

Deleted member 36903

Guest
I think I would just point and laugh out loud for the purposes of humiliating them...

@Bob from L.A. ! Of the many women on this forum, I would guess that a significant percentage have, at some point in their lives had experiences of this kind and worse. When alone, off the road in a remote area and a visitor to a country whose language you are still struggling with, pointing and laughing might result in something more dangerous than the perpetrator's humiliation. Such acts are designed to gain power, sexual or otherwise, from observing the discomfort caused to women and are another form of abuse and violation of the person. They are criminal acts and needs to be reported to the Guardia. We know from personal experiences shared on this forum that so called 'harmless' flashing can easily escalate to more directly violent acts.
 
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Year of 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
@Bob from L.A. ! Of the many women on this forum, I would guess that a significant percentage have, at some point in their lives had experiences of this kind and worse. When alone, off the road in a remote area and a visitor to a country whose language you are still struggling with, pointing and laughing might result in something more dangerous than the perpetrator's humiliation. Such acts are designed to gain power, sexual or otherwise, from observing the discomfort caused to women and are another form of abuse and violation of the person. They are criminal acts and needs to be reported to the Guardia. We know from personal experiences shared on this forum that so called 'harmless' flashing can easily escalate to more directly violent acts.

I haven’t read any examples on this forum of flashing escalating into more directly violent acts. Can you point those out to me?
 

MinaKamina

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
D

Deleted member 36903

Guest
@Anniesantiago I do hope this is not a rhetorical question as the subject matter is too serious for being reduced to matters of mere pedantry. My encounter with a man in Castrojerez involved what started out as a normal friendly encounter, then moved on to signalled obscenities concluding with him waggling his penis (albeit still in his trousers) at me, grabbing me and suggesting I would be receptive to the gesture. This man subsequently - on the same day I believe - pushed a Swiss pilgrim to the ground when she objected to his very physically expressed advances. He then went on to violently assault a German pilgrim, and that is what finally led to his arrest. I am surprised and disturbed by the various implicit challenges made on this forum to the content of posts by women who have experienced or witnessed such assaults and who have, as in my case, assisted the Guardia in mounting a prosecution. Harassment, abuse, intimidation, are all assaults, and yes this can happen anywhere. As is repeatedly emphasised, the Camino is no idyllic space free from the bad stuff that happens in our home towns and villages. My experience in Castrojerez didn't make me afraid, just very angry that a restful lunch. The town is a beautiful place with friendly folk who just before had proudly taken me on a conducted tour of their newly-opened exhibition space. This positive experience had been hijacked by a man who had no respect for woman. At the time I didn't think it worth reporting to the police, it was only later when I heard from the Swiss pilgrim what had happened to her and two years later read of the German pilgrim's experience that I regretted my inaction. I am grateful for the assistance of the hospitalero at an albergue in Castrojerez who facilitated the contact with the Guardia from the UK. If I had acted on the day perhaps the German pilgrim wouldn't have had the experience she did.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
I am surprised the exposing incidents occur as often as they do. I say that because of the amount of cellphones with cameras on the Camino(s). I would say that just about every pilgrim has a cellphone with a camera. More than likely that cellphone is in easy reach and so easy to take a photo of the offender and also to call for assistance, or both. Surely the deviants know that. I understand there is that initial shock upon the incident occurring and it takes a moment to gather the thoughts, grab the camera and take action. Maybe that is what the offenders rely on. The shock that leads to inaction. One thing that a sexual predator like that does not want is attention from third parties or their being photographed. That takes away some of the power trip. I would say grab the cellphone even if it is off and mimic taking a photo of the offender and of calling for assistance. Maybe even loudly shout "policia! policia!" while pointing at the cellphone and at them. Also in stretches where you are alone and it looks dodgy, for sure heighten your awareness level (green to red). Take out your earbuds if you are listening to music. Look far ahead. See if there are any cars parked close to the path, or males just hanging around it. Any lone male just hanging around the path, doing nothing and doesn't look like a pilgrim (we do all have a similar look) should be viewed suspiciously. If you see someone like that give him wide berth and at least mimic you are speaking to someone on your cellphone. Maybe wait until other pilgrims appear if possible.
I almost hate talking about this on here and giving that advice, but it hits me that pilgrims have always been preyed upon. On all the paths and journeys going back as far as pilgrimages themselves. It will always be there, and just like the pilgrims did centuries ago, you adjust and take countermeasures.
 
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Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
@Bob from L.A. ! Of the many women on this forum, I would guess that a significant percentage have, at some point in their lives had experiences of this kind and worse. When alone, off the road in a remote area and a visitor to a country whose language you are still struggling with, pointing and laughing might result in something more dangerous than the perpetrator's humiliation. Such acts are designed to gain power, sexual or otherwise, from observing the discomfort caused to women and are another form of abuse and violation of the person. They are criminal acts and needs to be reported to the Guardia. We know from personal experiences shared on this forum that so called 'harmless' flashing can easily escalate to more directly violent acts.

I, not being a female, would still point and laugh........
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
I, not being a female, would still point and laugh........
Well yeah of course, but there is no way those deviants would ever do that deliberately in a male's presence. That could possibly lead to a very painful lesson in manners and etiquette. One they would not forget for years to come.
That is one of the great things about purchasing an inexpensive aluminium trekking pole when you arrive to walk the Camino. If in the event it gets broken or bent, say in the process of being swung down upon something, it is only about a 12 euro cost to replace. ;)
 
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Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Well yeah of course, but their is no way those deviants would ever do that deliberately in a male's presence. That could possibly lead to a very painful lesson in manners and etiquette. One they would not forget for years to come.
That is one of the great things about purchasing an inexpensive aluminium trekking pole when you arrive to walk the Camino. If in the event it gets broken or bent, say in the process of being swung down upon something, it is only about a 12 euro cost to replace. ;)

LOL!:eek:
 
Year of 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
@Anniesantiago I do hope this is not a rhetorical question as the subject matter is too serious for being reduced to matters of mere pedantry. My encounter with a man in Castrojerez involved what started out as a normal friendly encounter, then moved on to signalled obscenities concluding with him waggling his penis (albeit still in his trousers) at me, grabbing me and suggesting I would be receptive to the gesture. This man subsequently - on the same day I believe - pushed a Swiss pilgrim to the ground when she objected to his very physically expressed advances. He then went on to violently assault a German pilgrim, and that is what finally led to his arrest. I am surprised and disturbed by the various implicit challenges made on this forum to the content of posts by women who have experienced or witnessed such assaults and who have, as in my case, assisted the Guardia in mounting a prosecution. Harassment, abuse, intimidation, are all assaults, and yes this can happen anywhere. As is repeatedly emphasised, the Camino is no idyllic space free from the bad stuff that happens in our home towns and villages. My experience in Castrojerez didn't make me afraid, just very angry that a restful lunch. The town is a beautiful place with friendly folk who just before had proudly taken me on a conducted tour of their newly-opened exhibition space. This positive experience had been hijacked by a man who had no respect for woman. At the time I didn't think it worth reporting to the police, it was only later when I heard from the Swiss pilgrim what had happened to her and two years later read of the German pilgrim's experience that I regretted my inaction. I am grateful for the assistance of the hospitalero at an albergue in Castrojerez who facilitated the contact with the Guardia from the UK. If I had acted on the day perhaps the German pilgrim wouldn't have had the experience she did.

Im sorry this happened to you.
I had not read about it.

I don’t doubt it happened.

That said, three incidences in so many years does not imply a trend to me.

No doubt there are sick individuals who get their kicks exposing their privates to women or frightening women. I was attacked by the Sparkletts Water Man in 1980 and have witnessed several flashers in my lifetime.

It can and does happen anywhere.

But I refuse to buy into fear.

Spain is not some magical place where violence never happens, nor is the Camino protected from idiots. A smart woman wouldn’t walk alone through parts of Chicago or LA oblivious to her surroundings. Nor should she in Spain.

However, compared to violent acts against women reported in my own home town in one week, the Camino continues to be one of the safest places I know of for a woman to walk alone.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2016; Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre/Muxia 2017; Aragones 2018; Suso/Yuso, Meseta 2019
One of my goals in walking the Camino has been to develop the inner strength and confidence to say the things in life that need to be said and to do the difficult things that need to be done. I have been fortunate to not have encountered a flasher but I admire the strength of the women who have reported these incidents and who have had the inner fortitude to continue on their way and share their stories, and in doing so have helped others. Thank you to each of you!
 
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@Anniesantiago I do hope this is not a rhetorical question as the subject matter is too serious for being reduced to matters of mere pedantry. My encounter with a man in Castrojerez involved what started out as a normal friendly encounter, then moved on to signalled obscenities concluding with him waggling his penis (albeit still in his trousers) at me, grabbing me and suggesting I would be receptive to the gesture. This man subsequently - on the same day I believe - pushed a Swiss pilgrim to the ground when she objected to his very physically expressed advances. He then went on to violently assault a German pilgrim, and that is what finally led to his arrest. I am surprised and disturbed by the various implicit challenges made on this forum to the content of posts by women who have experienced or witnessed such assaults and who have, as in my case, assisted the Guardia in mounting a prosecution. Harassment, abuse, intimidation, are all assaults, and yes this can happen anywhere. As is repeatedly emphasised, the Camino is no idyllic space free from the bad stuff that happens in our home towns and villages. My experience in Castrojerez didn't make me afraid, just very angry that a restful lunch. The town is a beautiful place with friendly folk who just before had proudly taken me on a conducted tour of their newly-opened exhibition space. This positive experience had been hijacked by a man who had no respect for woman. At the time I didn't think it worth reporting to the police, it was only later when I heard from the Swiss pilgrim what had happened to her and two years later read of the German pilgrim's experience that I regretted my inaction. I am grateful for the assistance of the hospitalero at an albergue in Castrojerez who facilitated the contact with the Guardia from the UK. If I had acted on the day perhaps the German pilgrim wouldn't have had the experience she did.

Thank you @SEB for this clear and intelligent post.
Precisely my thoughts and feelings.
I actually get a bit annoyed how some people try to belittle the whole theme on safety for women on the Camino.
 
D

Deleted member 32363

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I purchased a small pink can of "defense spray" that clips on my waist band/belt Being a small senior, walking alone. I thought that's the best defense, next to Awareness, Common Sense, my Pacer Poles, and Grace. For 4 leg-eds and 2.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
Not true. I was flashed after Puente la Reina a few years ago!:) Don't expect rational from the irrational.
Really....I am sorry you had to experience that, but at the same time, and I do not want to make light of it, I want to laugh that a man flashed another man.
I just cannot fathom a man flashing another man like that in a public place. There are just so many ways that could end badly for the flasher doing that, ha ha.
 

Mugatu

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finisterre, Muxia (2018)
Camino Frances or Norte (2019 , June 27-Aug 8)
No worries everyone, i am personally protected by an Irish hobbit and an Austrian giant. Planning to report it once I get exact location. I saw in past threads there were two men near cobreces a few months back doing the same. My guess is it’s the same guys. I’m determined to do something about it. Meanwhile I’m trying to spread the word to those walking this way now to prevent further harm.
I’m dying “Irish Hobbit”
 
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Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
You, not being a female, have the luxury to attempt to humiliate and not the terrifying realization that this could escalate, very quickly, into something far more dangerous.

Yes I do...
 

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