Dallas Police Chief David Brown is taking some heat for comments he made about the city’s apparent spike in sexual assaults. There’s been roughly a 25 percent increase in sexual assault reports in Dallas since January. It’s a concern that Chief Brown brought up to a city council committee yesterday, and now a public awareness campaign is being launched. Chief Brown says an analysis of the numbers shows many of the cases involve alcohol and date rape, so the focus of the awareness campaign should be on victims and the importance of prevention. Brown said friends need to watch out for each other especially those that may have had too many drinks.
Many took the comments to mean that the Chief was blaming victims, and expressed their displeasure on various blogs. Chief Brown clarified, calling the uproar inconsistent with his statement and saying he was simply urging women to be aware of their surroundings. Some victims groups say the data may actually be encouraging, because rape typically is underreported.