New York City will offer free self-defense classes in Central Park. The City Council also plans to arrange for free training sessions at local senior centers.
The announcement was made Thursday as elected officials gathered by Central Park to condemn the attack on a 73-year-old birdwatcher near Strawberry Fields.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn praised the woman's fortitude. She said New Yorkers will not cede any ground in the fight against violence on women.
Quinn said the city and park remain safe, but she urged residents to remain vigilant.
Advocates at the press conference urged victims of sexual assault to come forward so that other attacks can be prevented. They said over half of all rapes go unreported every year.