Authorities are worried about the increase in sexual assaults in New Providence, particularly in the southwestern area of the capital.
Twenty-two cases have been reported for the year, so far, a slight increase at this point when compared to last year.
Recent cases involved women in their 30s who were inside their home in the Chippingham area when a man climbed through the window around 2 am and while armed with a gun, robbed and raped them.
Another incident involved a woman walking around 10 am in the Bacardi Road area, when a man pulled alongside her, forced her inside the vehicle and raped her in nearby bushes.
Though police have increased saturation patrols, there are some measures women can take to protect themselves. These measures are not foolproof but they can reduce the risks.
Here’s how to protect yourself:
- If at home, ensure windows and curtains are closed at night, and doors and gates are locked and secured before going to bed. In addition, secure a self-defence tool in your home like a baseball bat, taser or stun gun to use when necessary.
- If walking, avoid isolated areas. It will be difficult to get help since no one is around.
- Walk diligently. Act like you know where you’re going, even if you don’t.
- Ensure you have your cell phone with you at all times to contact emergency personnel quickly.
- Avoid early mornings and isolated areas, if out for a jog. Carry self-defence instruments like pepper sprays, batons and spy cameras; Do not put music headphones in both ears so that you have a complete awareness of what’s going on around you.
- Only accept delivery items in a well-lit public space and/or accompanied by a friend.
- If you believe you need to get away from a possible assault, drive hastily and cautiously, and persistently blow your horn; call a relative or police quickly and drive to the nearest police station.
- Trust your instincts. If the location feels unsafe, it probably is not the best place to be.