As women in Park Slope, Sunset Park and Bay Ridge remain on edge with two, possible more, sexual assault suspects on the loose, community members are trying to reassure women by starting volunteer efforts to escort women from the subway. On the other hand, the police are telling some women to stop asking for it by wearing skirts and shorts.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a 25-year-old woman named Lauren "was wearing shorts and a T-shirt when she claims a police officer asked if she would stop and talk to him. He also stopped two other women wearing dresses."
The officer asked if they knew what was going on in the neighborhood. When they answered in the affirmative, he asked if they knew what the guy was looking for.
"He pointed at my outfit and said, 'Don't you think your shorts are a little short?'" she recalled. "He pointed at their dresses and said they were showing a lot of skin."
He said that such clothing could make the suspect think he had "easy access," said Lauren.
She said the officer explained that "you're exactly the kind of girl this guy is targeting."
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne (you may remember him from such statements as saying the cops did not user pepper spray against Occupy Wall Street protesters) said, "Officers are not telling women what not to wear—there's a TV series that does that. 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." The attacks started in March, with more attacks reported since then; as Jezebel points out, "Sskirts are an extremely popular form of warm-weather clothing for women, it really doesn't tell us anything that would-be rapists have supposedly been targeting skirt-wearers. The police might as well say the attackers have been targeting women."
There have been accusations that the police have not been pro-active in trying to find the suspect(s), but the cops say they have stepped up patrols. In the meantime, Safe Slope launched its Safe Walks last night: On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, they are offering escorts between 8 p.m. and 3 p.m.—here's more info on how to get an escort.