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As I've posted before (and will continue to, as long as ACPD continues to spout this silliness):

Just wanted to highlight this statement – “Women should avoid walking or running alone,”

I am so tired of this trope. It is an utterly unacceptable suggestion from any police department. And if the Arlington police department really thinks it’s a necessary one, there’s something very wrong.

Arlington is a very safe community, by all measurable standards.

Arlington – correctly – urges people to get out and walk and run and bike. Does it expect every one of its female citizens to be chaperoned while they do that? No? Then why are we getting wrong-headed advice like the above? I’ve spent more than a decade on Arlington’s trails, and in that time have passed thousands and thousands of women out by themselves. Were they being unsafe? If not, why would the ACPD suggest they were?

I think they are more or less trying to avoid blame should an incident occur.

I understand your frustration though, since I pass several females in the dark on my commute to work between 5:20-6:30 am on the Mount Vernon Trail. They obviously don't feel that it is unsafe.

Also, not to lighten the seriousness of some creep flashing people on the trail, but I'd be a lot more concerned if a rapist were attacking people on the trails.

The first line is even more odd than you thought. You could actually read it as referring to "those using the W&OD while they are searching for the man," meaning the users are searching for the man.

Maybe the police could operate a sting operation and have a female police officer running "alone" but in sight of back-up support, and get the guy. Or maybe someone will nail the guy with pepper spray on his "exposed" area. That would be a pretty good deterrent. If he shows up at an emergency room, authorities might have a good idea what that guy has been up to.

@TurbineBlade: I believe that flashing is one of those behaviors like peeping that can escalate to rape.

@MB: I do agree we need to stop teaching women to be afraid of being out alone. I never hear them warning men not to travel by themselves after dark. Perhaps the police should be highlighting/offering self-defense classes.

@MB I live in a somewhat high crime area of DC and women are told all the time that we should basically never leave the house alone. It infuriates me. Never mind the fact that we are most likely to be assaulted by someone we already know. Never mind that this advice is given even in cases when the victims were not women and/or not alone.

No matter what a woman does, she will often still be blamed for any crime that is visited upon her. In that case, I am going to do what I please and let the chips fall where they may.

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