From Keeping Men at Arm’s Length to Fearing the Foreign Other: Examining the Transference of Responsibility in Responses to Sexual Violence Against Women Perpetrated in Cologne on New Year’s Eve 2015
To date responses to the Cologne attacks have been subjected to limited analysis. This paper addresses that gap by examining the transference of responsibility in media and official responses in the aftermath of the attacks. In order to do so, we draw from the findings of a thematic analysis of over 500 media articles written in the wake of 2015/16 Cologne New Years Eve attacks to question the degree to which responsibility for the public acts of sexual violence against women were transferred from the women themselves in the first instance to the collective foreign ‘other’. We consider the implications of this transference in terms of gendered responses to violence against women and constructions of risk in a global world.