Cologne sex attack victim learns to fight back

From MailOnline

By Nick Fagge

A teenage victim of the Cologne New Year's Eve's sex attacks has branded a 'scandal' the German authorities' failure to apprehend the rapists and gropers that terrorized up to 1,000 women.

But student Dilara Zajarskaite - who was assaulted countless times during five separate attacks by Arab men - is fighting back, one of a growing number of young German women taking self defense classes to protect themselves against unwanted sexual advances.

Dilara, 17, and her best friend had taken the train into Cologne central station to revel in the traditional New Year celebrations. 

But within minutes the pair were harassed, molested, assaulted and almost abducted as passers-by – including police officers – walked on by, she claims.

When Dilara Zajarskaite, center, took up boxing, it paid off.

When Dilara Zajarskaite, center, took up boxing, it paid off.

Bravely waiving her right to anonymity, Dilara told MailOnline: 'We were attacked separate five times and no one stopped to help us. These Arab men touched me and hurt me. They tried to kidnap my best friend. It was terrifying.

'I told a policeman what had happened to us that night but he said it was not worth making a complaint because I could not name any of the attackers.

'It is a scandal the police have not captured any of the men who did this.'

Dilara and her best friend, who has asked not be named, were left traumatised by the multiple sexual assaults the pair suffered and were left too terrified to go out on their own. 

But now she has literally hit back, fighting off a sexual assault at Cologne central station two weeks ago, using boxing skills she learned at women self defence classes, set up in response to the New Year attacks.

She told MailOnline: 'I was by the cathedral in the evening a few weeks ago and this [Arabic-speaking] guy grabbed me and put his arm around me and tried to pull me towards him.

'But I remembered what I had learnt at the self defence course and I punched him hard in the ribs.

'He tried to hit me back so I put my hand behind his neck and slammed his face into my knee.

'It felt so good to fight back. Now I can protect myself.

'For the first time I felt safe, I had never felt so confident, so sure in my ability to protect myself.'

She added: 'It is every woman's right to be able to walk the streets in the evening without fear of being sexually assaulted.'

Despite the women being 'hand raped' that night by young migrant men, Dilara says the worse aspect was that people, including police officers she claims, walked on by as she cried for help.

'There were groups of Arabs everywhere,' she told MailOnline.

'They appeared to be organised. Some were drunk, some were stoned and they were coming at us from different directions.

'Finally I managed to fall to the ground and I crawled away. One man had grabbed my friend and tried to throw her over his shoulder.

'That was the last time I saw her being dragged away. I made my way to a bus stop and I found her. She was crying.

'The Arabs had got hold of her and tried to get her into a car but she was screaming and somehow she managed to get away. 

'What hurt me most was the fact that people, even policemen, walked by and did not help, even though they could see we were in trouble.'

While Dilara has refused to let the events of six months ago hold her back her best friend continues to be traumatised.

The young woman, also a student, told MailOnline: 'It was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I was, and still am, deeply shocked at what people are capable of doing.

'Because of these experiences I am now afraid to go out at night alone. I know something like this can happen again.'

New footage of the sex mob showing how police struggled to contain the large crowds as hundreds of assaults were committed emerged this week.

The previously unseen video sees police scuffle with a number of young men, while fireworks are being set off into the crowd, and a woman can be heard screaming 'you mustn't touch me, you mustn't touch me'.

Self defense classes for women have sprung up all over Germany since the shocking New Year's Eve sex attacks in Cologne and many other cities.

Coach Suna Yavuz, from the Jupps Fight Team gym, told MailOnline: 'We started this self defence class on January 5 in response to what happened on Silvesternacht [New Year's Eve]. We run it for free to give women the power to fight back and to give them confidence to walk the streets. Women come from all Cologne for the classes.'

Dilara's stand is in sharp contrast to the failure of the German authorities to bring any of those, whose actions led to of over 1,100 criminal complaints – including hundreds of alleged sexual assaults, to justice.

Last week the trial of an illegal immigrant accused of sexually assaulting two women at Cologne central station on New Year's Eve collapsed after prosecuting witnesses failed to identify him in court.

The suspect, a 26-year-old Algerian, referred to only as Farouk B is the only man to appear in court in relation to the attacks.

Farouk B he was accused of groping and touching a woman with 'sexual motivation'.

He was alleged to have being part of a group of ten men who surrounded a 54-year-old woman and assaulted her.

During the turmoil the woman's mobile phone was stolen.

The victim, identified only as Karin P, told the court: 'I was with a friend. I went to ask which platform my train was going from and I was suddenly surrounded by a group of ten men. They put their hands all over me – on my bottom, my breasts, all over. I tried to protect myself with my hand-bag.' 

The collapse of the trial has led to fears that no one will ever be jailed for the hundreds of sexual assaults that night. 

Albers had tried to play down the seriousness of the public disorder and claimed the overnight festivities had been 'largely peaceful'.

His boss, regional government Interior Minister Ralf Jaeger, appeared before an official inquiry this week investigating the police response to the events that night in Cologne and other cities across the North Rhine- Westphalia state.

The North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) police and prosecution services have declined to respond to questions by MailOnline on their handling of the events of New Year's Eve and the investigations into the sexual assaults that occurred.

However amid the widespread criticism about their failure to bring the rapists and gropers to court rank and file officers in the NRW police force have complained of interference by politically-correct judges and politicians.

One serving policeman told MailOnline: 'The judges are torpedoing our police work. It's very frustrating.

'It's hard enough to identify, track down and arrest these guys. But when we get them into court the judge lets them off.'

Another serving policeman added: 'The events around Silvesternacht [New Year's Eve] have become very political.

'We have had orders from in high that we are not allowed to talk about it.

'We all know that the activities of North African and Arab young men in German cities are a big problem. But it's far too political to talk about it.'

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