A particularly shocking statistic was released today in an article in the Manawatu Standard when it was revealed that there are 1 or 2 sex attacks in Palmerston North every week and it leaves us wondering is Palmerston North the rape capital of NZ?
Women are warned to be vigilant whilst walking home alone over the Christmas period when it is likely the attack rate will increase, note there is no mention of increasing police patrols over the holiday season:
“Walking home alone after a night on the town could have disastrous consequences for Palmerston North residents during the Christmas and New Year period.
There are one or two sexual assaults in Palmerston North each week, but police believe the high number of alcohol-fuelled parties over the festive season could lead to an increase in these offences.
Recent attacks in Palmerston North have revealed just how vulnerable to attack women can be while walking the streets at night.
A man sexually violated a 22-year-old woman on Fitzherbert Ave about 3.30am on May 22.
She fought him off with her stilettos but was left bruised and shaken by the attack.
The man was described as 182cm tall, clean-shaven, of medium to thin build, in his late 30s or early 40s, with medium-length wavy brown hair.
Police are also searching for a man who indecently assaulted a 25-year-old woman on Shamrock St at 8.20pm on October 29.
The man indecently grabbed the woman twice but she managed to fight him off after a short struggle.
He is described as dark-skinned, thin, between 17 and 19 years old and Middle Eastern in appearance. Detective Sergeant Tim Moffatt said attacks were rare but did occur. (ed. at least one a week is rare?)
“Certainly if there is a young, drunk woman walking through the darkened streets of Palmerston North at 2am in the morning, she is a potential victim.” (ed. & also at 8.20pm)
Police have also advised people to guard their drinks against spiking at bars. “My recommendation is don’t leave your drink lying around,” Mr Moffatt said.”
According to Statistics NZ data Palmerston North had a total of 98 reported sex attacks (city 64, rural 34) during 2008, a massive jump from 68 in 2007 (city 44, rural 24) so the news article is correct – an average of 1-2 a week.
But the assaulted aren’t always on the streets. In November of last year a 99 year old woman was hospitalised after a savage sex attack and robbery in her Rangiora Avenue home. She later died in hospital. Glen Patrick Joseph Walsh, 20, is to be tried for indecent assault, assault and burglary
Other attacks in the town include:
A female who was seriously assaulted in the Burger King car park
An attack on a 12 year old child
A solider who preyed on a young child
a 17year old who was raped by a national boxing champion near Main Street
Two 14 year old girls who were raped at the Rangitikei Hotel
For other posts about Palmerston North click here
Today’s posts – click here