September 2012

Another Rape Reported in the West Village

In response to a number of recent rapes in the city, the
City Council has announced that it will be hosting free self-defense training on October 7 at 2:00 pm at the North Meadow Recreation Center in Central Park (Mid-Park at 97th Street). Speaker Christine Quinn is also working on setting up free training at Senior Centers throughout the city.

NYC’s CompStat figures show that rape statistics have gone up citywide by 4% in the past year, and misdemeanor sex crimes have gone up by over 11%.

Given the headlines on rapes and sexual assaults lately, it would seem that these numbers are not overly alarming, but if you’re a woman walking home alone late at night, particularly if you’re not at your sharpest, you need to be very concerned.

In the Village over the past few months, there have been three reported rapes that grabbed the headlines. In April, a woman was raped and robbed on a Perry Street stairwell, in mid-August, a woman reported being followed into her apartment near Cornelia Street where her attacker followed her in and raped her. Both of these astacks took place in the early morning hours.  Later that month, a woman working in a spa near Washington Square was raped by a man posing as a customer.

The most recent rapes that have made the news are more disturbing, involving attacks taking place out in the open in places we usually consider safe. On September 12, a 73- year-old woman was beaten and raped around 11 am in Central Park near Strawberry Fields. The most recent report is of a woman who was watching the sun rise at the Tribeca section of Hudson River Park on Sunday, September 23,when a homeless man dragged her into the bushes and raped her.

These are frightening incidents, and women should be aware of some ways they can protect themselves. Self-defense training can go a long way toward that goal, but using common sense and learning what situations can put one at risk are essential.

See our previous article on Safety Tips for Women. And stay safe.