FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Jean Bucaria
212-627-9895 / 917-328-5543
January 11, 2016 – New York, NY – Last week on WNYC, Police Commissioner Bratton encouraged women to use the “buddy system” in response to an increase in sexual assaults in cabs and for-hire vehicles.
Sonia Ossorio, President of NOW-NYC said, “If the top message of the NYPD in the face of increasing sexual assaults on women in cabs is to use the ‘buddy system,’ how can we have confidence that our police force is addressing violence and sexual assault in a comprehensive way? The women and girls of our city deserve better from our police commissioner in communicating safety tips and laying out a plan of action than a one-liner from freshmen orientation 101.”
NOW-NYC calls on the NYPD to make addressing rape and violence against women a top priority, encouraging the police to strategize with the Taxi and Limousine Commission and put drivers on notice, ensure front-line cops are best prepared to respond to victims reporting sexual assault, and utilize and share timely data on sexual violence citywide to develop preventative solutions.
Deputy Director, Jean Bucaria said, “We need our NYPD to be focused on how to prevent these crimes and catch perpetrators, not on providing women getting into cabs with a list of do’s and don’ts. In the face of disproportionate violence, women and girls, lesbian, gay, and transgender people, and disabled individuals already walk around with these lists in our heads every single day. This hasn’t stopped rape from happening.”
“Informing the public is critical, but it’s also critical that it is not in a way that diminishes the significance of the crimes. Addressing violence and sexual assault in a comprehensive way must be a top priority of our police force and of our entire New York City community. The women and girls of our city deserve nothing less,” said Sonia Ossorio, President of NOW-NYC.
The National Organization for Women is the nation’s largest organization working to advance women’s rights and improve women’s lives. The New York City Chapter of NOW, founded in 1966, is the largest chapter in the country with thousands of members across the city and state. NOW-NYC advocates for the women and girls of New York City, by working to promote women’s reproductive rights, secure women’s economic empowerment, and end violence and discrimination against women.