Rochester Police provide safety tips for women

Posted at: 07/10/2013 10:43 PM
Updated at: 07/10/2013 11:13 PM
By: Lynette Adams

Rochester Police continue to investigate rapes in the East End. Wednesday night police have information to help keep you safe.

On Tuesday News10NBC told you a 19 year-old has been charged in the most recent incident. Wednesday News10NBC got the court paperwork in the arrest of Marvin Sevilla-Rosales.

The paperwork describes a brutal attack on a woman inside an apartment building on Alexander Street. Most of the details are too graphic to share.

According to court papers, Rosales is also accused of stealing a cell phone, driver license, money and other items from the victim.

Police say they are investigating a possible connection to other crimes in Rochester.
So what can you do to keep yourself safe?

On Tuesday Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard said there have been two or three sexual assaults in the East End over the past six weeks.

Whether you're going to a bar or jogging in your neighborhood, News10NBC wants to pass along information that can help keep women safe.

While you can't prevent crime or predict when it's going to happen, Rochester Police Sergeant Elena Correia says you can control the opportunity for criminals.

Here's what she had to say.

"Always make sure you are aware of your surroundings. Situational awareness is key. If you see something abnormal or if you see somebody abnormal, stop what you're doing. If it's a person looking at you or coming in your direction, get a good look at that person. If you get a chance, address that person, be firm, be confident or go to a safe place,” said Sergeant Correia.

Correia says don't worry if ducking into a coffee shop or convenience store may offend someone.

“Absolutely. It's okay to be afraid and take action. You have the right to say no. You have the right to tell people no, you're not going to do that and be firm and you have the power to do it as well and be firm with what you're saying. Be confident with what you're saying and don't be afraid if something happens. You need to report it, because you don't want this to happen to somebody else,” said Sergeant Correia.

“You talked about confidence. How important is that? How important is it to send a certain signal when I'm out and about?” asked News10NBC's Lynette Adams.

“Very important. Criminals do their acts out of power and dominance. So you want to counteract that and be as confident as you can be,” said Sergeant Correia.

Correia says take special care when you're going out and you know you will be drinking.

“Go out and have fun, but make sure you go out with girls and that you come home with the same people, not someone you don't know. You don't want to put yourself in those situations. Look out for one another. We have to get back to looking out for one another,” she said.

Correia also advises women to have an action plan for the worst case scenario. She advises using the buddy system if you're going out for a walk or jog. Leave a note or call a friend and let that person know where you're going and when you'll be back. Also, ask for a call if you're not back at that time.

She says be extra vigilant in public restrooms where there's been in increase in sexual assaults.

Correia says these are simple things that can minimize the opportunity for criminals.

If a victim has been sexually assaulted and isn't comfortable with reporting it to police, is there anywhere else to turn?

Sergeant Correia says the Rochester community is fortunate to have a Rape Crisis Center. She says you can call there for help and counselors there will advise you.

To reach the Rochester Rape Crisis Center, call 546-2777. For more information on the center, click here.