Remember the Oslo rape wave? The one whose perpetrators are almost entirely the product of cultural enrichment?
The Norwegian authorities have come up with a solution: this Christmas season, young ladies who are three sheets or more to the wind are encouraged to take a free girls-only taxi home in the wee hours, and thus avoid unwanted attention from the opposite or alternate gender. These new chick-wagons are painted pink and have eyelashes on their headlights to make them easy to spot in dark and stormy conditions.
Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer has translated an article on the topic, and includes an introductory note:
This new scheme in Oslo has introduced ‘girls-only taxis’ in an attempt to curb the enormous number of rapes taking place in that city.
I’m not going to be vicious here — the drivers in question are probably decent people — but I couldn’t help but notice that they are Muslim males…
Trying to reduce the numbers of rapes is a positive thing, but the scheme also tells us something about the situation in Oslo, and other Norwegian cities for that matter. What’s next, a new scheme where women are encouraged to be accompanied by male relatives when out on the town in order to avoid being raped?
The translated article from Groruddalen.no:
‘Girls-only taxi’ — a safer alternative for girls
Two ‘Girls-Only Taxis’ will drive Oslo girls home from town every Wednesday through Sunday until Christmas Eve, free of charge. This will contribute to a safer capital over the Christmas holiday.
By Cecilie Dokka
SpareBank 1 Oslo Akershus and P5 are behind the project “girls-only taxi” through their social responsibility project, “We care”. They have joined forces with Natteravnene [Adult volunteers walking the city streets on weekends] and Christiania Taxi. The capital now has two free girls-only taxis, which will contribute to a safer community during the Christmas holiday.
The two girls-only taxis will be on the streets of Oslo from November 21 to December 23, between 10pm and 5am and drive as many girls as possible home from town free of charge.
“We want the city to become a safer place for our girls. This year we’ve added another car, which will make a big difference during the Christmas party period,” says Monica Belinchon, the local manager of SpareBank 1 Lambertseter.
Lars Norbom, the head of Natteravnene, predicts that hundreds of girls are going to get home safe during this period.
“I believe that the addition of an additional taxi this summer is going to be a success. More girls are going to get home safely during the busy Christmas season,” says Norbom.
How to find a “girls-only taxi”?
“Girls-only taxis” will be on the streets of Oslo and focus on those areas where girls normally try to get a lift home from unknown cab drivers. Females may even hail the two taxis wherever they see them. The cab drivers will also publish their location on the project’s Facebook page, so that girls can keep track of them at all times and they don’t have to worry if there are already passengers in the pink-colored car. The taxis can take several passengers at the same time. In the city Natteravnene can also contact the two cars and arrange to have the girls picked up wherever they want in order to bring them home safely. The members of Natteravnene wear yellow reflective vests so they are easy to spot in the dark streets of Oslo. However, it is not possible to pre-book the taxis, and males cannot avail themselves of the taxis.
The bright pink color of taxis makes them easy to recognize. They are also equipped with eyelashes on the headlights, and the cars also have “girls-only taxi” and “We care” logos printed on them. Consequently they are fairly easy to recognize in Oslo on a late December evening.
“We have chosen to highlight the taxis by painting them pink so it should be easy to spot the cars in the city,” says Belinchon.
“We have received very positive feedback, and we have noticed a significant increase on our Facebook page. We want to continue with this project and we encourage others to do the same — care about the girls,” says Belinchon.
Belinchon and Norbom want others cities to follow their example. They want more people to care about their cities and get the girls home safe in an inexpensive manner
“The scheme appears to be very effective and any measure that can reduce the risk of rape is an important one,” says Lars Norbom, the head of Natteravnene. He has noticed in recent years that girls tend to get separated from their friends when they are out on the town. Thus they are often alone and without money after a night on the town in Oslo.
“There are a lot of things happening in the city during the Christmas season and with such scheme as the ‘Girls-Only Taxis’ we send them home safe and free of charge,” says Norbom. In the past year the numbers of reported rapes have declined slightly, but it still constitutes a big problem which we have to continue to fight against, he says. He encourages girls out in Oslo to look for Natteravnene so that they can contact the pink taxis for them and help them get home safely.
Too good to be true
Natteravnene have cooperated closely with the two cab drivers operating the “girls-only taxi”. Both Waqar Ahmed and Naveed Khawar have enjoyed the cooperation with Natteravnene.
“We have attended a course where they gave us hints on how to spot girls who are on their own and in a poor condition. This has helped us as drivers for the ‘girls-only taxi’,” the boys say.
Waqar tells a story about a girl who was alone and who had lost her wallet. She was on Carl Berner Plass, visibly intoxicated and without any money. The girl did not believe Waqar when he stopped the pink car and asked if she needed a free ride home. The girl told him that nothing in the world is free, but when Waqar helped her into the car and drove her all the way home to Årnes the girl was very grateful and praised the scheme.
The right decision
The taxis only operate in Oslo and Akershus, but the drivers are able to make a snap decision there and then and in this particular case the decision was a correct one. Waqar is very happy that he got the chance to drive the poor girl all the way home to her front door.
“The most frequently users of the ‘girls-only taxis’ are girls between 20 and 30, but the scheme is intended for girls of all ages,” the boys say.
The service started this summer and it has so far helped more than 2,000 girls reach home safely. During the Christmas season that number could potentially double. The project’s Facebook page has so far receive over 8,000 likes, and Belinchon, the cab drivers and Norbom encourage everyone to use the taxis this Christmas.
Some facts about the Girls-Only Taxi:
- The cabs transport girls in Oslo to their homes free of charge
- The scheme runs from November 21 to December 23 every Wednesday through Sunday between 10pm and 5am.
- The girls can find out the whereabouts of the taxis on Facebook.
- Natteravnene can contact the cab drivers for vulnerable girls.
- Approximately 2000 girls arrived home safely with the taxis this summer.
- Approximately 7000 people followed ‘girls-only taxi’ on Facebook this summer.
- SpareBank 1 Oslo Akershus, P5 and Christiania Taxi are behind the project through the social project “We care.”