BERLIN — As thousands celebrate New Year’s Eve at Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate on Sunday night, a team of medical professionals in a white tent only yards away will be standing by, waiting for possible victims of sexual assault and harassment to seek help.

After mass sexual assaults occurred on New Year’s Eve in several German cities two years ago, Berlin officials now work on the assumption that prevention efforts alone may no longer be sufficient at such large-scale events. Women will be able to speak to psychologists in a “safe zone” at the Berlin New Year’s Eve event.

While the presence of medical professionals and police at crowded event sites is nothing new, it is the first time such a dedicated area will be set up in Berlin, and the first time that such an effort is being undertaken on New Year’s Eve in Germany.

“(Assaulted women) can stay here and calm down or speak to someone trained to offer psychological support,” said Anja Marx, the spokeswoman of Berlin’s main New Year’s Eve celebrations. Up to five members of a German Red Cross team will be available to offer immediate support to victims.

On New Year’s Eve 2015, about 1,200 women became victims of sexual assault in several major German cities, with more than 600 women attacked in Cologne and about 400 victims in Hamburg. Prosecutors established that more than 2,000 men were involved in the assaults, but only a tiny fraction – about half of them foreign nationals who at the time had only recently arrived in the country – had been identified a year later.

It took months for the full scale of the 2015 assaults to emerge, but when prosecutors released their final estimates, Germans’ attitude toward refugees changed dramatically: To many, New Year’s Eve 2015 is the night Germany’s welcoming attitude toward newcomers ended.

Far fewer cases of sexual assault were registered last year after authorities sent thousands of additional officers onto the streets.

Germany’s parliament also passed stricter sexual assault laws last year that addressed complaints that German codes had been too lax. Previously, prosecutors had to prove that alleged perpetrators used force or made threats. Most of the alleged perpetrators responsible for the 2015 New Year’s Eve assaults stood accused of offenses such as facilitating sex assaults as part of a group or groping, accusations that were difficult to prosecute under the old laws.

This year, authorities have doubled down on efforts to not only prosecute but also prevent assaults. Apart from an increased police presence, authorities have installed more CCTV cameras and streetlights across major cities. Far fewer sexual assaults occurred in Berlin during the 2015 celebrations than in other cities, partially due to the experience Berlin authorities have in dealing with crowds. Still, authorities there have taken more preventive measures since, this year adding the safe zone. A similar effort was made at the rowdy Oktoberfest celebration in the German capital.