Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Is Poland a safe country?

I came across this meme as I was scrolling my Facebook newsfeed.


In Poland annually 30,000 women are raped, 700,000 experience physical violence, 190,000 sexual violence, 150 of those die, that's 3 women per week. Dear Refugees, don't come here. It's not safe.

So is Poland safe? I guess the answer partly depends on your definition of safe. What's your definition of safe? Mine is evolving. 

Once I was hired to help out a family from Brazil, transferred to Poland for work. We met in a cafe where they would not hang their coats on the coat rack nor would they lighten their death grips on their bags. They said in Brazil they often chained their bags to the table. I told them that they should be careful with their coats and bags, but we were the only folks in the cafe, and they could chill a bit. They somehow understood what I said as meaning that Poland was a crime-free zone. After settling into their new home, they bought their kids bikes which they left in front of their building. Those bikes were promptly stolen. According to them, I was to blame because I had told them Poland was safe. I meant that you can drink your coffee without clutching your bag and you probably won't get murdered, not you can leave your bikes unattended or your front door unlocked. We had a different definition of safe. 

Back to the meme, I don't know how accurate these figures are or how they compare to other countries. If you live in Poland and have never experienced any sort of violence, you may think they couldn't be true. I suspect they are. 

Violence occurs in my country too. I'm not saying Poland bad, America good. In America, you can just walk around your whole life, experiencing no serious violence, until the day you get shot perhaps by a criminal, perhaps by accident, perhaps by a police officer. We have a lot of guns. The possibilities are endless. I'm quite confident (but still superstitious, knock on wood) that I won't get shot here in Poland. If I do, it will be by a hunter while I'm cycling through the woods, not some crime of passion, robbery, or random act of violence. No consolation for me, 'cause I'd be dead.

I'm safety-conscious. I took all those extra classes at university such as "Safety on Campus" which involved brainstorming sessions of how not to get raped and "Self defense for Women" which involved learning how to properly kick an attacker in the crotch. As a university freshman, I had to park my car in Lot D located behind an old paint factory, overlooking a cliff with not a single light in sight. For that privilege, I had to pay 300 bucks per semester. I always had my keys ready, not only to quickly open the car door, but also to jam into my attackers eyes, just as I had learned in class. 

I learned that rapists waited for women in dark places. Rapists were sketchy guys who put drugs in your unattended drink at a party. The description of a rapist was so clear, it should be obvious who's a rapist and who isn't. It didn't occur to me then that it could be any stranger I met, sketchy or not, dark alley or not, spiked drink or not. It never occurred to me it could be someone I knew. I never wondered why male students weren't invited to attend the "Safety on Campus" classes. That was about 20 years ago. It's probably different now. Or not, based on the news headlines, but perhaps news reporting is just better now, not the number of rapes has increased. Let's hope.

Let me be clear. I have never been raped. You can keep reading.

Everything I learned in those classes may have been true, may still be true, but that information didn't protect me from the ticket inspector on the train who locked us in a compartment, beat me, and attempted to rape me. That was my third day in Poland and not a very nice welcome. He looked like a guy doing his job, not sketchy at all. It was daylight, no alleys in sight. I try to treat it as an aberration. I bear no ill will towards Polish men nor Polish train ticket inspectors except that one. I do bear some ill will to the police officers who didn't take the police report despite witnesses and an imprint of the ticket inspector's hand on my face. (Edit: The police wrote something down. I was not asked to sign it. They didn't want my ID. I was never contacted again.)

After that I had quite a few unusual experiences of complete strangers poking, stroking, or otherwise touching me in inappropriate ways. None of them progressed as far as the train inspector. One man stopped on the street, said hello, tipped his hat, and then clobbered me on top of my head with his umbrella. It turned out that he was the downstairs neighbor of my now sister-in-law and was schizophrenic. I had to forgive and forget, but I saw stars. Another man followed me home like a puppy declaring his love for me in a whisper under his breath. I later learned that he was a patient of the local psychiatric hospital, let out for a walk.

Hmm what else? I was spit on but that was by accident. A man stole my shoe from my foot and then punched me in the nose. He was probably insane so not to be blamed, and I did get in a few shots of my own as well as getting my shoe back. I can blame the bystanders who didn't help me even as I asked for it. Oh well.

The funniest incident, now that it is in the past, involves a neighbor. I had just come back home from a run. I met my family heading out the door to pick up a pizza. They exited. I closed the door, kicked off my shoes, and ran upstairs to the bathroom, you know, to pee. While preparing to pee, I heard the door open and what I thought was my husband yell something to me. I yelled back from the bathroom in English that I was on the toilet. I was home alone, right? I didn't close the bathroom door. Do you? I heard footsteps on the stairs. No worries, just my husband, right? I was busy inspecting the hole I had made in the toe of my new fancy smancy running socks. I was just turning my head to say to my husband - look what happened to my new socks - when I discovered the man standing in the doorway of my bathroom was not my husband. I immediately jumped up from the toilet pulling up my underwear and running pants in one go. Then I inexplicably put the toilet seat down and flushed. This man had seen me on the toilet from the top of the stairs, walked the six steps to the opened bathroom door, took two steps into the bathroom, and I flushed the fucking toilet. What a well-mannered victim I am.

I knew this man. He was our neighbor from two houses down. He was a farmer and he farmed our land for us. That doesn't mean we saw him often, or really talked to him, just that we were acquainted. I was also acquainted with his son who used to sneak into my kitchen and tap me on the shoulder to scare me. He went to prison for attempted murder of his mother. He hit her in the back of the head with a board after an argument. His prison stay was the calmest 4 years of my village life. He's not any problem now though (knock on wood). He lives back with the mother he tried to kill, but apparently he now suffers from agoraphobia or another similar affliction and stays indoors almost all day.

Back to my bathroom, so my neighbor, a farmer in his 60s, continued his walk into my bathroom asking where my husband was because he needed to talk to him. I, the most polite victim in the world, informed him that he had just left and that I would tell him to call. The neighbor continued his approach, commented that he wished his kobitka wore trousers like mine. Then he licked his lips as I stepped back and finally hit my legs on the bathtub. The buck stopped there at the tub. No more bathroom after the tub, and at that moment I thought to myself - I am not gonna get raped by my sexual deviant neighbor in my own bathroom. No fucking way. 

I plowed through him, got out of the bathroom, and told him to leave. He exited the bathroom and then entered our bedroom and commented on the changes we had made to the house. He did a round through the whole upstairs. It was at this point I noticed he was wearing rubber boots covered in manure (a.k.a. horse shit) that he had tracked all over my bedroom. Keeping things in perspective, I realize that floors covered in horse shit are nothing compared to the potential of being physically and sexually accosted, but still, I had just cleaned.

I walked down the stairs, opened the door, and told him to leave. Here's the kicker. I could have left. I wasn't held hostage in my own home. I could have walked out the door, left him there, and gone to the un-rapey neighbor across the street. He came down the stairs, proceeded to the kitchen and declared his intention to wait. I closed the door, went to the kitchen, took a knife in my hand and sarcastically asked, "Maybe tea?" I called my husband and told him what had happened in English. He told me to leave and that he was on the way. I stayed. I waited in silence while my neighbor proceeded to say disgustingly inappropriate things to me. Me, holding my knife contemplating the depth of the blade versus the puffiness of his jacket. He with his tea, which I made, while clutching my knife. Would my knife go all the way through, I wondered. If I had to defend myself, would I actually hit skin? Killing a neighbor probably wouldn't make me too popular here in our village of 500 people, but then again he was a sexual deviant, maybe my popularity would rise. And anyhow, Crazy Bolek killed two people, and he just went to the special hospital, and everybody started to call him Crazy Bolek. I could live with the shame of the moniker Crazy Chris if it came down to it. I mean it would be self-defense, right? My plans of murder in self-defense almost became plain, old regular murder as my sexual deviant farmer neighbor, noticing that his boots were covered in shit, scraped the shit off on the leg of my kitchen table. At that moment my husband came home sparing the neighbor's life. My husband threw him out and yelled over his shoulder to leave the manure, he would clean it. So nothing happened, right? But it felt like something happened.

The second kicker is that this guy was shocked that my husband threw him out. He couldn't believe that he had frightened me. He was flirting. Flirting? Flirting. Fuck. He...was...flirting. He's still a farmer and most certainly still a sexual deviant. He no longer farms our land and sold the plot directly adjacent to ours. We never see him. We always lock the door now.

Some men in our village beat their women. Some men in the city beat their women, too. This is certainly not exclusive to Poland. Then you get the women who beat their men, and the parents who beat their children. I can only speak of what I know, what's happened to me, and the fact that I made it through the American portion of my life without incident, while the Polish portion sounds like the screenplay for a black humor comedy.

Here in the City, I am very conscious of the terrible stories of domestic violence where the neighbors claim not to have heard a thing, so when I heard our new neighbor sobbing uncontrollably in their bathroom (the only wall we have in common) and screaming for her partner to leave her alone, I decided to pay attention. Ok, I decided to eavesdrop, but it was eavesdropping for a cause. As it turned out, her partner was not beating her and as we learned over the next couple of months may have been the kindest, most understanding guy a girl could have. What did I hear that eased my mind? "Kicia, you don't have to work there if you don't want to. You can march in there tomorrow and quit. Don't cry. We'll be alright." To which she responded, "How can you say that?! You don't understand! You don't understand! Nothing! You understand nothing! I can't do it! I can't go there!" To which he responded with a lot of calm and kind words with a lot of Kicias and Koteks thrown in. These episodes were weekly and the lack of them is how we figured out that those folks had moved out.

That was our next door neighbor upstairs, but the neighbors downstairs had a much more serious incident. It involved a loud argument from apartment 2, threats, sounds of things breaking, and for our friend in apartment 1, the final straw was the scream of "Stop beating me!" Our friend tried to intervene while this lady continued to scream and in the end he broke down their door like in some 1970s cop show only to discover that they were fighting, some things were broken, but that guy wasn't hitting her. He hadn't laid a finger on her. Her dishes were all broken. And what was the result? They were furious with my friend for butting in. Now they have a new baby and everything is cacy. 

Knowing that I am sensitive to train violence, my husband stepped forward in a situation between a man and a woman outside the Wars carriage as we were traveling to Kraków. An older man was molesting an older woman. I don't know how else to describe it. They were struggling. She was yelling at him to leave her alone and stop touching her. He was grabbing her arm and had one hand deep inside her bra. My chivalrous Misiu asked the lady if she needed help to which we found out this was her husband trying to give her a hundred zloty that she didn't want to take. He was attempting to put it in her bra. People are strange.

The latest incident in my village that I know about happened in autumn in public in the middle of the night. The screaming woke people up. It was settled with a couple of other neighbors beating the culprit and not calling the police because the wife and mother would then have been called to task for returning from a party at 1:00 a.m. with a 4-year-old in tow.  Just go to the village shop and listen to some of the men. I know men drinking at the shop are not the best sample of men, but still. The way they talk about their women, dziwka, szmata, kurwa. If any of those ladies heard Stara they'd think it was a romantic gesture. Ask any one of those guys if they beat their women and you'll get the reply - it happens on occasion...and it doesn't end with their women. It naturally extends to their children. Because how else can you shut up that whore bitch of a wife who keeps complaining that you sold the public benefit coal for cash which you drank and now there's no money and the house is cold? True story.

So you are probably wondering about Crazy Bolek. I first heard about Crazy Bolek because after going to the Big House (not really, just to the Crazy House), his family put his house up for sale. Crazy Bolek was permitted to come home for holidays under the care of his family, but they declined for obvious reasons as you will read. Crazy Bolek's house is the last house on the right on Leśna Street which is two streets over parallel to my street. Our house is the last house on the right on our street. We soon began getting visits from people insisting our house was for sale. The Polish people can vouch for me when I tell you that this is an example of a real conversation I had with a complete stranger who stopped by my house.

Random stranger: How much is it going for?
Me: Excuse me? What?
Random stranger: The house. How much?
Me: This house?
Random stranger: Is this your house?
Me: Yes.
Random stranger: How much?
Me: To buy it?
Random stranger: Yes, lady, to buy it.
Me: It's not for sale.
Random stranger: Yes, it is for sale. I asked at the shop.
Me: No, it's not for sale. You're mistaken.
Random stranger: No, you're mistaken. It's for sale. How much would you take for it?
Me: As much money as I would need to buy the same house in the City.
Random stranger: Jesus lady. You're crazy. Nobody will pay that much for this house. You'll never sell it.

I paid a visit to the shop owner after that to discover that it was Crazy Bolek's house for sale and not some conspiracy to drive me out of the village. And then I heard how Bolek became Crazy Bolek. Crazy Bolek lived with his girlfriend and elderly father. One day, his girlfriend committed suicide by hanging herself upstairs in their house. It was a sad event, I'm sure, but the suicide rate in our local area is rather high so not suspicious. Some months later, Crazy Bolek's father bled to death after an unfortunate incident with a straight razor while Bolek was shaving him. It quickly came out that Bolek was the culprit. He also admitted to having strangled his girlfriend and to hanging her to make it look like a suicide. He was sent away, and forever became known as Crazy Bolek in our village.

Signing off,
Crazy Chris, don't underestimate me ;)


Joy Ludwig-McNutt said...

Ummm....holy've had a lot of run-in with crazies in Poland! İ never had anything like this in 2.5 years living in Warsaw except for the mean Poles wouldn't tolerate my trochę po polsku! Thank goodness you're a bad ass! Unfortunately not as many women are or have the chance to be in those situations. said...

crazy---and so sorry to hear these.

don't be too sure about the guns, however...we had a neighbor in the city of poznan shoot at our dog because it was barking...and then another neighbor shoot at a deer that just so happened to be right next to me while walking my dogs.

and yes---i agree that police do very little. our danish friend was just beat to a pulp in poznan and the police were going to do nothing until he had the embassy get involved. his wife had a man push his way into her home, lick her hand---she was 9 months pregnant, grabbed her nearest child and ran to the neighbor while trying to race back to grab her other kid---and the police said the man didn't do anything---her dad loudly got involved and they finally acted a little.

our neighbor attacked and destroyed our property and the police told us since there wasn't any blood, they wouldn't even come and file a report...

another time, a van of men stopped by in the middle of the night and were probably going to rob/rape but i let my dog go on them (the size of a horse and as mean)...they never returned...

and i had to push a man out of my home---who then tried to break down the door...but my brother is 6'5" and huge, so i thought---if i can fight with my brother (in my younger days), i can take on this crazy man.

***all in poland***

but, you, my dear, are the most polite victim. and i am just so sorry to hear these...

keep up the crazy---it apparently is keeping you as safe as can be.

and tell your husband good on him for running the man out the door!


jewel snake said...

Actually Poland is the safest country for women in the EU according to the Charter of
Fundamental Rights of the European Union's survey.

jagodka said...

Im pretty sure Poland is so safe in that survey because Polish women don't report most of the cases of abuse. In many cases they don't even realize it was abuse. Sad but true.
I experienced many situations in Poland as a young woman that were definitely sexual abuse but I never thought of them that way. Only looking back I realize it was the case. Like butt grabbing by "friends", or random stranger following me on empty street and telling me what they'll do to me ("First I'll take your panties off.."), or while on the trip with friends waking up to find a hand of one of those friends in my underwear. Even in that last situation, I didn't think it's something you report as sexual abuse. I was horrified, and I ended that friendship very quickly, but still wouldn't think it was something criminal.
I also lived through a real rape attempt by a guy I knew, and while I knew it was criminal, I still didn't report it. Later I found out the same guy tried to rape at least 2 other girls, and DID rape at least one. They also did not report it to the police. They told me, because some people knew about what happened to me and it being small town, they heard about it.
When I was in elementary school the boys from my class would get together and would corner a girl and touch her breasts and butt and anything else they could grab. It was a sign they found her attractive, so the girl wouldn't be too terribly upset because other girls were always a bit jealous!
Later, like in early twenties, one of the girls I knew got very drunk at a party and while basically unconscious was group raped by some of her acquaintances. I still get angry remembering people talking about it. It was "just guys taking advantage of the situation, having some fun". It was all her fault for getting so drunk. Btw, she never reported it, and I doubt police would even take it seriously, since there was no sign of struggle.
Sound like a very safe country for women...

Chris said...

Joy - That's almost 20 years of situations. I'm sure in 20 years, you'd have some stories to tell. I'm glad you don't, but remember, just in case, be a badass!

And2 - What is it about random licking? Our friend was licked in a weird assault too. Stay crazy up there! And a little badass.

Jewel - I figured it might be according to the statistics. I reported the train incident. The police refused to take the report. I recently checked the abortion statistics in Poland as well. A chat with any gynecologist will tell us, they're not accurate.

Jagodka- I've started to broach the subject with my girls. It feels terrible to have to do it when they barely understand the concept of sex. We've talked about boundaries, inappropriate touching, adults and friends. It started as a conversation about a classmate who takes things from friends' lunch boxes and progressed from there. I'm raising two little badasses here.

Anonymous said...

Crazy stories... I'm really sorry to hear. Luckily, I've never been abused and I hope it will not happen, ever. I still remember hearing one terrbile fight walking through Poznan old town. I know someone being mentally harassed - and yes, it's all being reported and... withdrawn - because it's my son! My brother was hit in his head walking back girl back home after date, woke up at 7am on the street, they didn't steal anything as they've probably thought they've killed him.
It feels strange... I take the same path to the tram and back during rush hours and the car if I'm going somewhere else. Yesterday, I went out to the city by tram and while waying for my friend for 20 minutes I've seen every possible type of person. And I felt really frightened when left alone with a group of young "peners"/hooligans. False sense of security.

jagodka said...

Chris, I'm so glad you teach your girls how to take care of themselves. Hopefully they will never experience anything like that, but better have them prepared.
I have more of those stories, some just baffle me. Like some drunk trying to pull me down to the basement in the middle of the day. I was maybe 10. My grandma was just outside planting flowers and she heard the struggle and came in to save me. It baffles me because even though she was livid, I don't think it even crossed her mind to report it to the authorities. It was just some drunk acting stupid.
Or there was a guy often standing in an apartment building on the way to our elementary school and exposing himself to the girls. He would sometimes also come to just right behind the fence by school field and wait for gym class for girls to do his thing (when teacher wasn't in sight). I don't know if adults knew about it but it went on for a long time.
I just hope times changed a little. That people think a bit differently. But I just had a conversation about it with my sister and it horrified me that she still thinks there's a huge difference between guys group raping a drunk girl at the party and some guy attacking a random woman on the street, with that first one being a far lesser crime. And she's a woman, she should be able to relate more!
My daughter hates rape culture, is very outspoken about it, wrote a big paper, etc. But the thing is she actually never encountered a situation like this. I kinda think living in US, not Poland is the reason. I'm sure rape and sexual abuse do happen here, but at least both the victim and the abuser recognize the abuse for what it is.

jewel snake said...

Jagódka and Chris, what makes you think that only in Poland women don't report most of the cases of abuse? I think it's like this in every country, so it still makes Poland the most safe country in EU. I was never attacked by a polish man in Poland, but was a few times stopped in Warsaw by immigrants/students from Africa. In France I was attacked by a group of Blacks in from of the club, luckily some Japanese guy helped me. In Japan some drunk guy tried to grab my tits on the street, in Sweden I was harrased by a Black guy again and in Egypt some guy tried to rape me.I didn't report any of those to police, so surely there's many unreported assults in any other countries as well, don't see any reason to think less about Poland just for this reason. I still belive that we are living in the safest country for women in the EU, even if we will add some percents of unreported assults to the chart.

jagodka said...

Well, I don't know about EU, so can't argue there. But I can compare my personal experiences from living in Poland and the US. It never happened to me here, despite living here for many years. Same with my daughter. She's 18, at her age I had many assault stories collected. And it's not just that, it's people's mindset. On my daughter's college campus there were three reported cases of sexual assault this year. All were the same, drunk guys at a party (in boys dorm, and girls went there of their own will) getting grabby. Something that happened to many of my friends back in the day and none of them even thought it was assault, it was just guys being assholes. Reporting it would never even cross their minds. In fact, I never heard about anyone in Poland reporting a situation like that. My point is, my daughter tells me people were horrified, no one blamed the girls. Unlike in the story that I described above, where a girl was (and still is!) being blamed for getting raped by a whole group of drunk boys at a party in Poland.
Also, since Polish police can refuse filling a report on a woman assaulted on a train by a railway worker(!) something tells me the records aren't too reliable. If they refused in that situation, it's way less likely they would accept reports of those college girls for example.

Me said...

Zagotowało się we mnie. Potem uśmiałem się z historii o sąsiedzie w mieszkaniu (wybacz, sytuacja niewesoła, ale Twój styl opisywania intensyfikuje komiczność). Po czym znowu się wku...rzyłem. Ja chyba nie rozumiem ludzi. Co oni mają w tych swoich głowach?
Niektórzy ludzie mają chyba za dużo wolnego czasu, brak zainteresowań (pasji) i kochanych bliskich.
Zdarzało mi się odprowadzać koleżanki nocą w mieście, właśnie ze względów bezpieczeństwa. Bardziej jako psychologiczna ochrona niż fizyczna (dziewczyna czuje się bezpieczniej a obcy widzą, że nie idzie sama), bowiem nie spodziewałbym się sprostać potencjalnym napastnikom. Zawsze sobie myślałem wtedy, że gdyby do czegoś doszło a napastników byłoby co najmniej dwóch to najwięcej co mógłbym zrobić to zająć ich i dać dziewczynie szansę do ucieczki. Te środki ostrożności okazywały się niepotrzebne (może z przewrażliwienia?), raz tylko jacyś imprezowicze głupio zagadywali, ale nic więcej. Ale to były miasta, choć różne ich obszary. A wieś? Nie wiem. Różne rzeczy się słyszało, ale wiele z nich brzmiało dla mnie nierealnie.

Mimo to, uważam, że w Polsce stosunek nierejestrowanych (nie wnikając w przyczyny) zdarzeń przemocy wobec kobiet (ale też dzieci) do tych rejestrowanych jest jednym z najwyższych. Ze sceptycyzmem odnoszę się więc do statystyk, w których skala przemocy wobec kobiet jest w Polsce niższa niż w Skandynawii lub Beneluksie.

bitowo said...

Podzielę komentarz w dwóch częściach, bo mój tekst ma ponad 4096 znaków

Część 1

Czy wiesz skąd pochodzi mem bądź kto umieścił te liczby na tym memie ? Od czasu do czasu pojawiają się takie memy i intrygują mnie z jakich źródeł one pochodzą, i czy są to rzetelne źródła. Nie oceniam bo nie można tego potwierdzić ani zaprzeczyć.

Chciałbym również trochę dodać do tego artykułu ze swego punktu widzenia. Generalnie problem z gwałtami, molestowaniem, nękanie i wykorzystywaniem kobiet pochodzą od tego, że prawo polskie jest chujowe(nie da się tego lepiej określić, chociaż nie przepadam za wulgaryzmami). Prawo obecnie jest tak skonstruowane, że częściej broni przestępców i niż obywateli. Najlepszym przykładem jest chociaż Kajetan P, który odciął głowę kobiecie. Z relacji telewizyjnych i opinii ludzi było widać, że człowiek ten ma problemy psychiczne, ale nikt się nim nie zajął. Niestety to doprowadziło do tragedii. Policja niestety u nas dupy nie ruszy, dopóki nie stanie się coś poważnego. Wiele opowieści słyszałem jak policja nie chciała zająć się sprawą, bo jest zbyt błaha dla policji. Jestem w stanie zrozumieć przypadki, że kobiety zgłaszające sprawy o nękanie nie są należycie "obsłużone" przez policję. Kilka przypadków wymienionych można było uniknąć, gdyby prawo i ewentualnie szpitale psychiatryczne lepiej działały. W przypadku tego flirtującego rolnika, to twój plan doszedł do skutku, to z niego zrobiliby ofiarę a z ciebie oprawcę. Niestety takie patologie są jeszcze Polsce :(

Opowiem też o trzech niebezpiecznych sytuacjach, jakie mi się zdarzyły w życiu. Pierwsza sytuacja była cztery miesiące po napisaniu matury. Któregoś razu koło godziny 21, jak wracałem ze spaceru spotkałem jednego chłopaka z liceum. Był to jeden z 2 chłopaków, z którymi miałem cały czas problemy w szkole. Po minucie, jak zacząłem iść w stronę domu(byłem na skrzyżowaniu), odwróciłem się i zobaczyłem jak on zaczął do mnie iść z cegłówką. Widząc co się dzieje, przyspieszyłem kroku, aby szybciej dojść domu. Myśląc, że już wszystko jest w porządku, po chwili gdy był już blisko, usłyszałem jak biegł z tą cegłówką w moją stronę. Nie wiedząc co robić zacząłem uciekać, i po przebiegnięciu około pół kilometra dotarłem na swoje osiedle. Gdy zorientował się, że jest już dosyć daleko rzucił ten kamień gdzieś w pole i poszedł w swoim kierunku. Druga sytuacja była w autobusie w Warszawie. Po meczu do autobusu wsiadło kilku kibiców(nie wiem z jakiego klubu). Niestety byli w grupie i średnio trzeźwi. Jeden z ich potknął się o mego buta i się przewrócił. Po tym ten gościu zaczął mnie awanturować się ze mną, zaczepiał mnie tekstami typu "a w pierdol chcesz ?", "dawno w ryj nie dostałeś frajerze" itp. Odszedłem w inne miejsce, a koledzy uspokoili go i akurat zakończyło się szczęśliwie. Najgorszy przypadek był trzeci. Wracałem z sklepu alkoholowego, by kupić wódkę dla kolegi bo miał imprezę. Tak się zdarzyło iż z naprzeciwka facet z psem szedł. Wszystko było w porządku dopóki pies nie zaczął biec w moją stronę. Właściciel psa był za daleko i nie był w stanie nic zrobić dlatego przygotowałem wcześniej kupioną butelkę do obrony. Gdy pies już rzucił się na mnie, to zacząłem z początku się z nim szarpać. Potem gdy już miałem wolną rękę, w której trzymałem butelkę z wódką, To pierdolnąłem go butelką kilka razy. Po którymś razem zaczął skomleć, i akurat wtedy przyszedł właściciel i założył obrożę. Pies nie był duży, ale na tyle silny iż prawie by mnie obalił na ziemię. To by było tyle z moich wrażeń.

bitowo said...

Część 2

Tak jak wcześniej opisałaś, zdarzają się czasami również kobiety zachowujące się jak pokrzywdzone, a niekoniecznie nimi są. Wykorzystują to między innymi w sądach przy rozstrzyganiu do kogo dzieci trafią. Częściej sądy stoją za matkami, więc niektóre kobiety manipulują swoim zachowaniem tak, aby przekonać sędzie/sędzinę, by to jej dać dziecko. Podobnie sprawy też się mają z alimentami na dziecko.

Psychika ludzka jest również olbrzymim problemem w zwalczaniu patologii. Intymność jest częścią prywatności, a opowiadanie o tym, jak ktoś bezprawnie wtargnąć na tą intymną sferą jest czymś upokarzającym dla tej osoby. Niestety nie zawsze łatwo jest przekonać ofiarę takiego występku, aby opowiedziała o tym

Na koniec odwołam się co do bezpieczeństwa w Polsce. Polskę generalnie uważam za kraj średnio bezpieczny. Statystyki owszem pokazują iż w Polsce jest mniej przestępstw seksualnych, ale to niczego nie zmienia. W Polsce jak wszędzie są dobrzy ludzie jak i przestępcy. Większy problem widzę w tym, że ugrupowania prawicowe uszlachetniają polaków jako tak zwanych dżentelmenów, skoro wciąż jest tak duża ilość przestępstw seksualnych, wiele z nich nie jest w ogóle zgłaszanych. Niestety taka mentalność hamuje obniżanie przestępczości, dlatego potrzebne jest dobre prawo i edukacja seksualna. Także globalizacja i obecna kultura życia chwilą, promuje wręcz zachowania prowadzące do przestępstw seksualnych. W Polsce również nie ma aż wielu imigrantów socjalnych jak w innych krajach europejskich. Jednak porównując Polskę z Europą, to stanowczo Polska jest bardzo bezpiecznym krajem.

Chris said...

Me and Bitowo, thanks for your comments. About these statistics, I did try to find accurate stats from a reliable source because come on, that's just a meme. Accurate stats from reliable sources vary greatly. Some sources group incidents differently. Some sources lump them all together- getting raped, getting groped, and getting punched in the head can be one incident or three separate incidents. Still other sources take upon themselves to use the percentage of under reported cases and extrapolate "accurate" statistics.

Despite the stories above, I consider Poland safe because my definition of safe is the probability of getting shot and killed. I think I need to alter my definition a bit considering I encounter really dangerous drivers on the roads each week and my personal sphere has been attacked several times.

It's true what many of you have commented. Fighting (as in fisticuffs, meaning some random people just start beating on you), domestic abuse, grabbing, groping, etc. is part of "normal " life in Poland (and not only in Poland). For that reason, many folks don't report. I don't think under reporting only happens in Poland, but I am talking about Poland so I'll stick to the situation here. Also as mentioned, if there wasn't blood, no report. Ok, there was blood? Well, did he get your pants off? All the way off? No? So lady, what do you want us to do about it? It's your word over his. Oh, these are witnesses? They probably misinterpreted the situation as did you as a foreigner. Yep, that's how it can go when you try to report something.

Linda said...

Holy crap woman!
And also, after the shock has worn off, PLEASE write a book?

ds said...

Chris please! "her husband trying to give her a hundred zloty that she didn't want to take. He was attempting to put it in her bra" I'm laughing so hard. But not funny on the whole. A book please, yes!

Chris said...

Linda and ds - Ok, ok, I will do it. Could someone out there who has ever written a book please tell me how? Seriously, I'm lost for a sensible plan.

And ds, apparently women of ample bosoms are able to hold objects in their bra! Did you know that? I of the un-ample bosoms had no idea that was even possible.

Anonymous said...

Holy cow!
I'm so sorry you had to experience these things and so glad that you're teaching your girls the skills to be safe!
And please do write a book!
I did not live long enough in Poland to experience these things on daily basis in Poland (my fam moved to the US when I was 8), but as a 21 year old female living in NYC, I certainly need to be aware of my surroundings and I certainly do experience minor incidents of sexual abuse on daily basis..Do I ever report them? Nope. I'm used to them. Sad, but true.
What I really wanted to write about, however, is that I did have a "Crazy Bolek" experience during one of my summers in Poland.
My sister and I (we were 17 and 16 at the time) took my grandmother's dog - a huge German Shepherd - for an evening walk. We were walking through Krakow and we ended up in some shady dead end street. We were absolutely alone expect for a dude charging at us with an ax. We were in a shock and had no where to run. And he would have slaughtered us right then and there if not for the dog who charged back at him. She (the dog) was absolutely furious - he got scared and ran away.
I also had a stalker - but here in the US. For the longest time I had no clue who he was, but he seemed to know everything about me. For months I received love letters, flowers....and eventually death threats. He broke into my apartment - I wasn't home - so he stole a bunch of my personal belongings (underwear and such things) and left. I finally met him - in fact my stalker turned out to be my college classmate.

Chris said...

Anon - Your stories are absolutely terrifying. Thank goodness your Crazy Bolek didn't get you with his ax. Axes are the weapon of choice in my village, well, right after cars driven drunk by folks who don't even have a license.

I briefly had a stalker here in PL, but it was minor. I had forgotten all about him. It was not as extreme as your situation. I knew him as well and considered him a friend before he got all weird and stalkery on me - coming to my office, waiting for me in the dark hall outside my apartment, calling constantly, calling my in laws, getting new addresses and phone numbers from friends and family. Despite the fact that I was married and he had met my husband, he was relentless. I think he wanted to go to the States very badly. He had had an American girlfriend who dumped him prior to his freaking out and had applied for a visa more than once and was denied each time. Having that goal in mind, his desperation made him determined and ruthless. My husband ran into him in IKEA not so long ago :0

czarownica said...

In view of what happened today in Brussels, Poland IS a safe country.

Anonymous said...

In view of what is happening to local women eg. in Germany or Sweden, Poland is probably even safer ;)

I am not saying there are no creeps in Poland, I am Polish and I have experienced my fair share of creeps. But then, I live in Sweden since many years back and I can see what is happening there and in other countries that have let immigrants in: a wave of robberies, assaults and rapes (or taharrush). Probably organized, as it seems. Almost all the victims are (young) women. I am writing almost, because young boys (6-10 yo) get raped too. The police are not doing enough, in the name of PC. The best (sic!) case scenario is like in Sweden, where in two towns women have been warned not to go out unaccompanied after dark... ( ). Considering that in Stockholm it gets dark at 3 pm in winter - what a nice perspective...

So, I find it quite hard to understand the logic of this mem and the post. What does it (the mem) actually say? That the immigrant women are safe (safer) in their home countries? Really? In the culture of revenge or of honour killings? Culture of rape like in Somalia? Of women's oppression like in Afganistan or Saudi Arabia?

Sorry if I sound emotional, I do not want to insult you or your readers, but I have a slightly different perspective on those things. The situation is actually affecting me, as well as my friends and near and dear ones. /MA

Anonymous said...

>Everything I learned in those classes may have been true, may still be true, but that information didn't protect me from the ticket inspector on the train who locked us in a compartment, beat me, and attempted to rape me. That was my third day in Poland and not a very nice welcome. He looked like a guy doing his job, not sketchy at all. It was daylight, no alleys in sight. I try to treat it as an aberration. I bear no ill will towards Polish men nor Polish train ticket inspectors except that one. I do bear some ill will to the police officers who didn't take the police report despite witnesses and an imprint of the ticket inspector's hand on my face.

Seriously. You are saying that train inspector tried to rape you, beaten you, there were witnesses and police didnt accept the complaint? Like in the daylight? I think you might have your private definition of the rape, that differs from real one. Additionally your text gave me an impression that you have a consatnt fear of world's raping you. Women after shit like this are in a very bad state, but you say it like it was 'meh another day for me'.

Were you at the hospital after the assault? I mean, you are saying you have just ingored a rape case along with the police? Have you reported it to prosecutor's office?

Chris said...

Anon (the first one)- I didn't create the meme. The post of course is written by me. It is my attempt to show what people are sharing and look at it from a different side. I believe the person who created this meme was trying to be provocative, but not about immigrants/refugees, but about the domestic situation of women in Poland. The post is about me. It's about my life. I ask the question "Is Poland safe?" and explore what that means for me. I touch on the probability of theft vs assault vs bodily harm vs getting killed. My friends find it strange that I say Poland is safe despite many run-ins I have had over the years in which I was physically harmed. I'd take a punch in the head over getting shot any day. So I'm aware that other places are worse, some exponentially worse. I know it. It's worth mentioning that one of the reasons I decided to leave my job in the US was because of a shooting in front of my school. The shooting was bad enough, but along with that was the indifference on the staff and students.

Chris said...

Anon (the second one) - Seriously. I am saying that the ticket inspector on the train tried to rape me. You either believe me or not. My further explanation is not necessary, but I will add the details you're seeking.

It was daylight. The train was due to arrive at its final destination soon so the other passengers had cleared out of my compartment.. This inspector had tried to talk to me several times on the long trip, but it was my third day in Poland in 1996 and I couldn't speak Polish. The inspector came into the compartment and closed the windows and the curtains. He was talking the whole time. He started messing with the door. I thought he was doing some rounds before reaching the station. I wasn't really paying attention. I was reading a book, so that's why I didn't notice he had locked the compartment door and closed the curtains. I didn't realize he was going to hit me in the head and face. I did realize after the first punch that he had taken down his trousers and underpants. I did realize that he wanted to rape me.

I stated clearly in the post that I wasn't raped, but you wondered about my "private definition" of rape. Sex without consent, sex by force. That's my definition. Does it differ from commonly held belief? So no the train inspector didn't rape me. I repeat that I never said that he did, but the punches to my face and body, his taking down of his underwear, his wresting my jeans and putting his hands on my body, his attempts to get his fingers inside my body, his sick smile as I screamed left no doubt of his intentions. I normally gloss over the details. I don't like thinking about it, much less writing it down.

I am describing incidents over a twenty year span. Could you imagine that I keep some things private? Like for example the first night after the attack I dreamed that I was trapped in that compartment and I tried to get out of my friends apartment thinking it was the train. Or for example I cried myself to sleep for weeks. Or that while walking on the beach with my friend, a stranger picked a fight with him because he thought my friend had beaten me up. Or that my friend's mother broke out in tears when she saw me. You question my state after the incident. There you go.

I was not hospitalized afterwards. I did not go to a doctor. I went to a pharmacy, and then had a long shower at my friend's. I used up all the hot water. If you'd like more details, I had a handprint on my face. The inside of my mouth was torn up. My head was pounding and my ear was ringing, but it stopped. I was bruised all over especially on my inner thighs. The police came, took the report reluctantly as it seemed to me. There were witnesses. The ticket inspector was found and gave his side of the story, standing opposite me. He also thought I had rape fantasies and said that I had attacked him for no reason. The police filed the report. The railway was informed. I gave all pertinent information as you do when you talk to the police. I was never contacted about it again. I went back home to the US 10 months after the incident. I have never told anyone from my family about it.

You quoted from a passage referring back to self-defense courses women at my university were required to take. It was just one credit and free, but required nonetheless. No, I don't think that the world is out to rape me. I didn't even think it while attending those classes. Rape is for other women, right? Then you're just reading a book, minding your own business, and bam a complete stranger punches you in the head and tries to rape you.

Chris said...

I edited the post to indicate that the police did write something down. I don't think it qualifies as a police report. They declined taking my ID. I was not asked to sign anything. I was not asked to come to the station. I was never contacted again.

Landora said...

Come on. I live in Poland, I'm twice your daughter's age and I also have no assault stories to tell. The US is really not the best example of a "safe country"...

Switezianka said...

I know that this is an older post but I've been looking into statistics and came across it. I've read your story and I am really surprised. I lived in Poland for 12 years and then New York. I moved back to Poland for two years in 2012 and now I'm back in New York.

Nothing ever happened to me in Poland besides random older men (twice) telling me that a pretty, young girl like myself should quit smoking cigarettes. I've had a drunk man ask me for money and my worst experience was at a club when a drunk guy wanted to dance with me and grabbed my arm really hard. I pulled back and walked away but I did feel like he could be one of those abusers. Living in Poland I did not know any families where there was violence between married couples but pretty much all children would be hit or spanked which seemed so normal to me at the time.

Now living in New York.

I've had men take out their penis on a subway and jerk off to me 8 times. Curious enough 4 of those times I was at the age of 13 to 16 years old. At the age of 13, a man asked for my phone number and threatened me that if I give him the wrong number he'll find me (I gave him the wrong number). At 14 a man stood over me in a subway trying to put his penis (through his pants) over my face. At 14 a good looking young guy set next to me in the subway in the middle of the day and after a few minutes I realized that I feel like something is tickling my private area, when I lifted my bag, his hand was on my private area and I freaked but he just casually walked off the train. At 19 I was almost raped in front of my building by a group of Mexicans, i started screening and told them that someone will come down and I was so lucky that someone did. At 19, I had a gun to my head at a playground (around 7PM) in an attempt robbery, again it was the neighborhood of Midwood Brooklyn (very safe). I also had a stalker at the age of 18 who would appear every couple of months, until I finally had my dad come down and yell at him. In my neighborhood there were two murders in 8 years. One was from Russian mob, the other was a random act of violence and when I say neighborhood, I mean across the street. Also once there was a guy waving a knife on the train threatening to cut some old ladies throat. I also had a very uncomfortable situation with a Police officer when I was 15, he tried to get my number and actually locked me in with him at one of the train stations gated exits so that I'd hang out with him while he ate his lunch. I, again gave the wrong phone number but I was really scared and this "Lock up" lasted an hour. I've also seen tons of fights and I've had my guyfriend get jumped and beaten twice in front of me. I actually left a few things out because I think you get the picture.

I don't know where in Poland you live but I went on a road trip around Poland in 2010 and in 2015 and again nothing happened. Perhaps village life is way weirder and people much different than in large cities but spend a few years in New York and you'll have stories to tell.

I also forgot to mention that one of my great friends was murdered along with his wife in CA. Google Jan Pawel Pietrzak. A few years prior to that, the same friend had to have plastic surgery, as he was cut with a knife across his face, in front of a club in NY.

Anonymous said...

Herewegoagain.jpg - polish rape statistic - about 1383 rapes in 2016, so no, not 30000, even if you report only 5% of rapes (which is unproven, unscientific claim and I wouldn't be wasting time in your place reading tea leaves - you can't get any reliable numbers from unfounded, unproven and even evidently false claims (Police estimates those are between 30 to 60 percent of claims!))... Don' believe pieces without citation (like the "meme" abouve), with unscientific sources (like 1-5/1-3 rape stat which is completely bonkers, as is "1-3% of rapist will spend 1 day in jail" which is complete nonsense) or hateful pieces (like some of those written by me under).

... unless by rape you mean "stare rape" (looking at a women is sexist, misogynistic and probably rape - yes, some feminists claim that!), "being-close rape" (<1m muhsogyny!) or "psychological rape" ("(...) consists of verbal harassment, whistles, kissing noises, heavy breathing, sly comments or stares. These are all assaults on any woman’s sense of well-being.” - from:
Oh snap, I must've raped about a dozen of innocent wymynz when i was carrying that big box willed with papers and steel bits, I must be publicly executed or, at least, jailed for life XD

Don't get me started about "Feminoteka" crap about what is rape (telling your lady "you look good", "you are curvy", "you are slim", "you are beautiful" is RAPEEE! - chech it on YouTube)... or "natemat" site, which is literal feminazi misandristic stoolhole.

What about "hello sunshine" as a piece of "rape culture" and "male privilege" (too check in Google, I've lost that link).

Those words lost all meaning, they might as well be "generalhatefulmisandricnamecallno1-9.txt". They are idiotic, hateful and, honestly, traitorous to humanity.

Anonymous said...

So, polish ladies, in light of "stare rape" and "sexists stares" what do you prefer:
1) All men killed,
2) 90-99% of men killed (like "Krista" - - or the "Femitheist"),
3) All men blinded by hot iron or eyes removed,
4) All men wearing blindfolds all day (and night) long,
5) All men staring at the ground whole time

Because if I'm getting that right, all women (except some with "inernalized muhsogyny!11") are feminists and they represent you and I won't, in the life of me, "objectify" (another dumbed word which in real life means something completely different) THE WOMEN, so what do you prefer - gendercide, dehumanization, crime against humanity, "objectification" ("males" too wild, must be tamed or killed!) or ruining hopes for normal relation and shaming men for (wait for it) liking women?

I'll wait. We will wait. But don't be surprise, ladies, if we won't be interested in relation with someone who thinks, that complementing or looking at her is a sign of misogyny and "objectification".

Feminism is disgusting ideology, destructive force, muddling crapfest which has nothing to do with "equal rights" (that's what you have egalitarianism for - feminism isn't a part of it, whatever they say), has anything to do with misandry (and usually misogyny, with it's idiotic fake "problems" and the necessity to create a narrative that 200% women are raped every day ( - completely idiotic and deliberately evil statistic) or focused in creating a protective bubble because "males are evil scum, #killallmen XD").

tl;dr: "meme" is fake, unfounded, no source, no citations, in 10 seconds you will find stats with sources and studies which are credible (if you're against official data, you can find plenty of those on the University sites) and says that above is complete lie.

Chris said...

Anon - I am not a journalist or a statistician, but also I do not rely on memes for my statistical knowledge. I expressed my doubt to the validity of the numbers as they originate from a meme. It was a jumping off point for the topic, a commentary on our (lack of) knowledge on the subject, not an indictment of the country. The numbers written in the post are a translation of the meme for people who don't know Polish. Take the post for what it is- a description of some stuff that happened to me.

I do not claim to have been raped. I state clearly that I have never been raped. Even considering that a conductor of a train locked us in the compartment, knocked me in the head, undid his trousers, started to remove mine before I regained my senses, and put his fingers inside my body, I fought and screamed and was rescued before penal penetration. And I am not claiming rape.