More women are being attacked in the North End, in mirror images incidents that have been going on for the past several years.

On Friday around 9:30 p.m. a woman told police she was walking near Prince Street in Boston’s “Little Italy” when a man attacked her with a knife. She fended him off and was able to escape with minor scrapes.

Before that, on April 4, a woman was walking near North Bennet Court when she was pushed suddenly pushed by what authorities believe is the same man, described as 5’10” with an olive complexion and dark hair speaking with an accent.

Here are some tips from the Boston Police Department for ensuring personal safety:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. When parking, walking or returning to your car, remain in well-lit and populated areas.
  • Wear sneakers or shoes that allow for added mobility.
  • Be watchful and aware. Keep your head up. Make quick eye contact with those around you and be observant of passing vehicles. Don’t become distracted by talking on a cell phone or listening to an iPod/similar device.
  • Avoid walking alone late at night. Walk with friends and people you know.
  • Keep a whistle within reach. If you feel threatened, use the whistle to signal residents that you need assistance. Yelling “Fire!” “Help!” and/or “Rape!” are ways of drawing attention and alerting people that you need help.
  • Hold your car keys in your hand to use as a weapon against an attacker.
  • Carry a cell phone.
  • Call ahead to your destination to alert them that you’re on your way. Make sure they expect you at a certain time, so that in the event you fail to show up, they’ll know enough to begin looking for you.
  • Walk with confidence. Be assertive. Don’t let anyone violate your space. Trust your instincts. Know this: anyone at anytime can be a victim of crime. Don’t assume, “IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME.”
  • If an unarmed attacker confronts you, believe in your ability to scare, distract, or even incapacitate the attacker enough to escape.
  • If you think that someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street. Walk toward an open store, restaurant or residence.

If you have any information on these attacks, call the Boston Police at 617-343-4400 or text TIP to 27463 to send an anonymous tip to the CrimeStoppers tip line.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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