Upper Manhattan Takes Back the Night After String of Sexual Assaults
July 1, 2011
Residents took to the streets, parks and self-defense classes to reclaim the neighborhood after several sexual attacks.
By Carla Zanoni
UPPER MANHATTAN — Three weeks after a string of unsolved sexual assaults left residents in Inwood and Washington Heights fearful for their safety, area residents gathered in uptown parks to reclaim their safety in the neighborhood.
Police have yet to make arrests and have publicly stated they have exhausted all leads, leaving women in the area anxious and worried about repeat incidents.
But rather than stay home paralyzed by the fear, many said they are taking steps to reclaim the streets and parks with at least three groups reigniting neighborhood group initiatives meant to empower residents so that they feel comfortable enjoying the neighborhood at all hours.
"This is our neighborhood, we are making a statement that we have control here, not the bad guys," said Inwood resident Karen Mullens, who attended a "Take Back the Parks" event and said she plans on taking a self-defense class soon.
The event was started by astronomer Jason Kendall, whose Inwood Astronomy Club has been hosting popular astronomy nights in uptown parks for years.
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