Women who walk alone send an invitation for men to attack them, the mayor of Albury has said following the gang rape of a teenager in the regional New South Wales town on Tuesday.
Albury Mayor Kevin Mack made the comments on Thursday after a 17-year-old girl was attacked and raped at knifepoint as she walked home from work at around 6.30pm on Tuesday night.
Cr Mack said the assault was a “tragedy” which happened in an area popular with walkers, cyclists and runners, but said women needed to have someone with them “at all times”.
“We’ll endeavour to do what we can as a council to ensure our areas, our footways and the parks are well lit and give people that sense that they feel safe,” he said, according to an ABC report.
“I always have encouraged women not to walk alone, to have someone with them at all times, because that in itself is an invitation for someone to take advantage of you.
“It’s a salient reminder to us all not to take what we have for granted, and to make sure we have appropriate safety in place.”
The comments echo those of Victorian Homicide Squad Detective Inspector Michael Hughes who also warned women not to walk alone following the stabbing murder of Melbourne teenager Masa Vukotic in a suburban park last month.
“I suggest to people, particularly females, they shouldn’t be alone in parks – I’m sorry to say that, that is the case,” Detective Inspector Hughes told the ABC.
After his comments drew criticism, Detective Inspector Hughes said Victoria Police did not believe women shouldn’t walk alone, but needed to be “take reasonable precautions” if they did.