Since last March there have been ten incidences of attempted sexual assault and one rape in and around Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood. And some women who live there say police officers are telling them if they want to avoid being attacked, they should dress more modestly.
The Wall Street Journal reports that women in the area dressed in shorts, dresses and skirts have been warned by the police that they’re “exactly the kind of girl this guy is targeting.” One woman coming home from the gym in a pair of shorts in a t-shirt said an officer told her “such clothing could make the suspect think he had ‘easy access.’”
The New York Police Department’s official position on the matter is that while their officers have cautioned women about the attacks, they’re not dispensing fashion advice. They simply want to make sure that women in the area are aware of who this assailant is coming after.
“Officers are not telling women what not to wear—there’s a TV series that does that,” quipped Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne in an email. “They are simply pointing out that as part of the pattern involving one or more men that the assailant(s) have targeted women wearing skirts.”
But instead of making women feel bad about what they wear, shouldn’t they focus on teaching them how to protect themselves, or, you know, finding the guy who’s doing all of this? The Journal points out that the cops have stepped up their patrols, and that two city council members have funded a few self defense classes. But it seems to us like the root of the problem is the guy (or lord forbid guys) who are attacking these women. Finding and stopping the culprit should be where 100 percent of the NYPD’s efforts should be focused.