updated 5 Feb 2012, 14:43
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The New Paper
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New York police’s anti-rape advice: Don’t wear skirts

In ultra-liberal New York, women have been given an unlikely piece of advice.

The New York Police Department told women in a Brooklyn neighbourhood on edge over a spate of sex attacks that it isn't a great idea to wear skirts and dresses.

There have been about 10 attacks in the area since March. Police have warned of an individual or assailants on the loose. The attacks, most of them involving grabbing and groping, include a rape in June.

Residents in the area have not taken well to the advice, NBC reported.

One of them, Ms Theresa Troupson, said: "I think that women should be able to wear whatever they want. I don't think that they should be held responsible in any way for the actions of criminals."

Another woman, known only as Lauren, told the Wall Street Journal that she was walking down the street in shorts and a T-shirt when she was stopped by an officer, who stopped two other women in dresses.

"He pointed at my outfit and said, 'Don't you think your shorts are a little short'?" she told the Journal.

The officer also told them that they are exactly the kind of girls the assailant is targeting.

New York City Police Department (NYPD) spokesman Paul Browne said the officers "are simply pointing out that as part of the pattern involving one or more men that the assailant(s) have targeted women wearing skirts".

A group called Safe Slope said the NYPD effort is "completely inappropriate".

Said Ms Jessica Silk, a founder of the group: "There have been reports that the women attacked were all wearing skirts. Unfortunately this might be a common link between the women that were attacked but the message shouldn't be that you shouldn't wear a skirt.

"The message should be that, 'Here are ways that you can protect yourself'."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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