Community taking action to prevent rape

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – After a rash of rapes in the Allentown and Elmwood neighborhoods, people living in the area are coming together to better protect themselves.

They’re calling it the Gathering for Awareness. Around 20 people showed up in Bidwell Park to learn self defense and share stories of survival. We talked with several women who say they walk as their main form of getting places. They believe it’s important to learn how to defend yourself and also to make sure everyone is looking out for one another.

Some tips are don’t travel alone after dark, be aware of your surroundings and don’t have your face buried in your cell phone.

“Getting cat-called or followed back when you’re coming from work or a bar and I don’t feel like women should have to be afraid to be in their city by themselves,” said Kara Kenney who organized the event.

“It just makes me so angry because especially this time of year. This is when our city is at its best. Especially in Elmwood Village and Allentown. We go out, we shop, we support our farmer’s markets, we support local venues, we go to galleries and I don’t feel people should have to forgo anything they can enjoy in the summertime in Buffalo just because this has happened,” said Halley Shaw who also organized the event.

There will be a march Sunday evening at 7:30. Mayor Byron Brown also attended today’s event. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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