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Mayor says women walking alone at night "invite" sexual predators. Ugh.

Trigger warning: This post deals with sexual assault and may be triggering to some viewers. 

Update: New South Wales police have since concluded their investigation for three men who were suspected for an alleged sexual assault against a 17-year-old girl.

Police have stated that the three men are no danger to the public.

Mamamia previously reported…

The mayor of Albury, NSW has said women who walk alone at night offer “an invitation” to be “taken advantage of”.

Mayor Kevin Mack’s comments come after a 17-year-old girl was allegedly raped by three men in the town on Tuesday night.

The alleged victim said she was walking home from work at 6.20pm when the three men approached her on a footbridge. They reportedly dragged her into bushes and sexually assault her at knifepoint, before fleeing.

albury rape
A computer generated image of the three perpetrators. (Image: NSW Police)

Following the horrific assault, the town’s mayor spoke out about the incident — but bizarrely, his comments appeared to condemn her actions, rather than those of the three accused perpetrators.

“I always have encouraged women not to walk alone, to have someone with them at all times, because that in itself is an invitation for someone to take advantage of you,” Councillor Mack said, according to an ABC report.

Related content: Priest victim-bames Jill Meagher.

But he stressed Albury is no less safe than other parts of the country.

“It’s a salient reminder to us all not to take what we have for granted, and to make sure we have appropriate safety in place,” Cr Mack said.

albury rape
Mayor Kevin Mack. Image: Albury council.
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Backlash to Cr. Mack’s comments has been swift, with people taking to Twitter and Facebook to voice their disgust.

A petition calling for his apology over the “victim-blaming” comments has also emerged on change.org.

“This is cut-and-dry victim-blaming. It is a grossly false idea ingrained into our society which does not need perpetuating by public figures,” the petition reads.

“Perhaps instead discourage offenders from abhorrent behaviour, rather than insinuating that taking a walk alone in a park is inviting a criminal act.”

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NSW Police are appealing to the public to help identify the men thought to be responsible for the attack. They released a computer-generated images of the group today.

The first man is described as being of Caucasian appearance, between 180cm and 185cm tall, aged in his early to mid 20s, with dark mid-length hair and a slim muscular build. He was wearing a dark hooded jacket, tan-coloured jeans and maroon shoes.

Leading to the Dean Street footbridge in Albury.

The second man is also of Caucasian appearance and between 180cm and 185cm tall, with a solid build and light hair. He was wearing a dark hooded jacket, grey tracksuit pants and black lace-up shoes.

Related content: Rapist says a woman is far more responsible for rape than a man.

The third man is also of Caucasian appearance and between 180cm and 185cm tall, aged in his mid to late 20s, with a slim build and gaunt facial features. Police have been told the man had poor oral hygiene and was wearing a pale-blue hooded jacket with white print, black jeans and camouflaged shoes.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.

Do you have a story to share with Mamamia? Email [email protected]

Telling women not to walk alone at night is the wrong conversation, says Jamila:

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