Rape In The Queen City: A Bigger Problem Than You Thought
The sexual assault problem in Buffalo extends far beyond the city's West Side.
- June 28: Sexual assault (rape) on 100 block of High Street (@ 8:46:01 am)
- June 29: Sexual assault (rape) on Fay Street (@ 11:47:29 am)
- June 29: Sexual assault (rape) on 200 block of Allen Street (@ 12:00:00 pm)
- June 29: Sexual assault (rape) on Niagara Street ( @ 4:00:00 am)
- June 29: Sexual assault (rape) on 300 block of West Ferry Avenue (@ 1:10:36 am)
- July 1: Sexual abuse on 1 block of Dart Street (@ 8:30:00 am)
- July 1: Sexual assault (rape) near Walden Avenue (@ 8:00:06 am)
- July 2: Sexual abuse (Rape) on 400 block of Delaware Avenue (@ 12:13:52 pm)
- July 4: Sexual abuse on 1 block of Lafayette Avenue (@ 4:00:00 am)
- July 5: Sexual abuse on 300 block of Brekenridge Street (@ 11:28:00 am)
- July 5: Sexual assault (rape) at Elmwood and Allen (@ 3:30:00 am)
- July 6: Sexual assault (rape) on Kingsley Street (@ 3:45:00 am)
- July 7: Sexual assault (rape) on 300 block of Fox Street (@ 12:00:00 pm)
- July 7: Sexual assault (rape) on 1100 block of Main Street (@ 3:40:11 am)
Within the last 2 weeks Buffalo has experienced 14 instances of sexual assault. 11 of the 14 are rapes! To put that into perspective, that's 1 rape or sexual abuse per day on average over the past 2 weeks.
These data were provided by the Buffalo Police Department to CrimeReports.com, a crime mapping company.
What prompted my curiosity? Under the headline "2 women raped, another attacked over past 8 days on West Side" the Buffalo News reported 3 accounts of sexual assault incidents taking place within the past 8 days on Buffalo's West Side.
Based on these figures, recent instances of sexual assault in the Queen City are more prevalent and widespread than the headlines are directing us to believe.
TAKE ACTION: A "Take Back the Night" event is taking place in the wake of sexual assault attacks in Buffalo. The march will take place Sunday, July 13 at Symphony Circle (Richmond Avenue & North Street). Gathering beginning at 7:15pm; march at 7:30pm and return to Symphony Circle for a speak out. For additional details or to RSVP, click here.
Ways to Prevent Sexual Violence—For Women & Men*
*Source: Ohlone College
- Be aware of your surroundings.
There is a higher chance of avoiding sexual assault just by being aware of what and who is around you. Being cautious and alert can only be to your benefit.
- Know your sexual desires and limits.
Believe in your right to set those limits
- Communicate your limits as clearly as possible.
If someone starts to offend you, tell him early and firmly. Being polite is O.K. As long as you are firm and assertive. Say “no” when you mean “no” and be prepared to repeat it.
- Dress comfortably.
Dress as you please. However, non-restrictive clothing could be an advantage. We don’t want to lead anyone to think that when a woman dresses provocatively she is giving permission to be sexually violated. Nobody asks to be sexually violated or Raped, but to be aware that if someone ignores your limits and assertiveness, you want to be able to run and fight back if needed.
- Avoid excessive us of alcohol and drugs.
Alcohol and drugs interfere with clear thinking and effective communication.
* If you are walking alone, try to have a whistle with you. If you find yourself in danger, blow the whistle to attract attention for help (Ohlone Student Health Center provides whistles). Another item that may help you, if in danger is Chemical Mace, to spray in attackers eyes. Using items such as keys, pencils, pens, or books can also be used to defend yourself against an attacker.
- Know your sexual desires and limits, communicate them clearly.
Be aware of social pressures. There is nothing wrong with not scoring.
- Being turned down when you ask for sex is not a rejection of you personally.
Women who say “No” to sex are not rejecting the person; they are expressing their desire to not participate in a single act. Your desires may be beyond your control but your actions are within your control.
- Accept the woman’s decision.
“No” means “No”. Don’t read other meanings into the answer.
Don’t continue after “NO!”
- Do not assume that just because a woman dresses in a sexy manner and flirts that she wants to have sexual intercourse.
- Do not assume that previous permission for sexual contact applies to the current situation.
What to do in a Risky Situation
- Stay calm, consider your options and how safe it would be to resist.
- Say “NO” strongly. Do not smile; do not act polite or friendly.
- Say something like “Stop it. This is Rape!” This might shock the rapist into stopping.
- If the rapist is unarmed, fight back physically, shout “NO!” and run away as soon as possible.
- If the rapist is armed, try to talk him out of continuing the assault, or try passive resistance (pretend to faint/vomit/urinate).
Resources for victims
Click here for downloadable resources on violent crime and personal safety
For information on what to do if you have been raped or sexually assaulted in New York State click here.
NYS Department of Health Rape crisis and sexual violence prevention program resources located here.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) has put together a database containing local Crisis Centers for victims of sexual violence. You can search for them here.
You can reach your local RAINN Affiliate at any time by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE (4673).
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