With recent news reports revealing that two young ladies were sexually assaulted within a 14 hour time frame in downtown Trenton, many people are understandably in an uproar.(Trentonian.Com) According to the police, just this past weekend an individual (black male) between the ages of 20 and 27 weighing around 170 to 180 pounds forced an 18 year old young lady to perform oral sex on him behind the PSE&G building near State and Warren Streets. It is reported that the perpetrator threatened her with a gun. Thankfully, a suspect has been apprehended today. Let us hope and pray that he is the culprit in question. Prior to this tragic incident, another woman was grabbed just a day earlier near the State Capitol building by an assailant with a similar description. Fortunately, in her case, she was able to fend him off with mace. And, on top of that, we should never forget the monstrous acts committed against that precious seven year old girl that was allegedly gang raped in Rowan Towers earlier this summer.
Indeed, these horror stories are enough to make anyone's soul cringe. So, I know I’m not alone in saying that my prayers are with all of these young ladies as they bounce back emotionally from these most dastardly acts perpetrated against them. Oddly enough, these heartbreaking events shed much needed light on a larger problem going on in the city of Trenton, namely the problem of safety and quality of life deterioration. With news reports indicating that significant cuts will be made to our police staff due to budget constraints, many residents are justifiably concerned about their safety and well-being. Obviously, the question becomes: Can the newly elected Mack administration honestly expect to soothe the fears and anxieties of its constituents by having less police on the streets? I think not. In a city like Trenton where opportunity seems scarce and crime is very real, you have to really wake up and smell the coffee. Trenton needs more police, not less. If the mayor is concerned about budget cuts, why not trim the fat elsewhere. As far as I see it, safety is priority number one. We as citizens cannot sit idly by and allow our elected officials to undermine our safety by downsizing our police department.
As a matter of fact, one Trenton resident commented on these recent attacks by saying, “Broad daylight for both attacks - makes you wonder where all the TPD are. How come there are no patrols, beat cops, etc". I believe this concerned citizen is truly on to something.
We must take bold action, contact the mayor’s office and let them know we need more patrols, beat cops, and surveillance cameras to protect Trentonians and tourists alike. (To reach the mayor’s office, please visit their website: http://www.trentonnj.org/Cit-e-Access/ContactInfo/?TID=55&TPID=5557) However, the buck doesn’t stop with the Mack administration. We, as citizens, should also do our part as well.
To prevent things of this nature from happening again I would suggest we as citizens do a few things. First of all, quite frankly I think we need to raise our children with a better understanding of respecting sexual boundaries or sex in general. If your children are more aware of boundaries, they are less likely to cross them, plain and simple. I know this may seem like common sense to some but trust me some children have not been taught properly. Secondly, if you have enough leisure time on your hands, I would advise taking a self-defense course. These courses are very helpful and show you all sorts of safety tips and increase your awareness of potential threats. Secondly, if you absolutely have to travel at night, by all means take some one along with you because assailants are for the most part cowards that look for easy targets that are usually by themselves in sequestered locations. By having someone with you, they will be discouraged from approaching you. In addition, I don’t think it hurts to carry around mace or pepper spray. These products are relatively cheap and can be highly effective when it comes to disarming assailants. For more information about self-defense and other tips, please visit http://www.self-defense-mind-body-spirit.com/travelsafety.html.
So, in closing, let us not allow a few bad apples to ruin the whole bunch. We as citizens deserve a safe place to live and will NOT, I repeat NOT, live in fear. We need to send a clear-cut message to terrorists like this that they do not have a blank check to do as they please. They will not have the last word here. I believe in my heart of hearts that good can come from evil, but only if men and women like you and I rise to the occasion and do the right thing. The choice is ours.