Self-defense tips to remember amidst increase in violent crime at NYC parks

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NEW YORK — Two high-profile killings of New York joggers has put city residents on high alert about the safety of city parks.

Recent statistics show that violent crime in city parks rose 23 percent from a recent nine-month period — July 1, 2015 to March 31 of this year when compared to the previous nine months.

And advocates for better security and higher police presence have stepped up their efforts with two notable killings of New York women this month.

The body of Queens resident Karina Vetrano wad found last week in a Howard Beach Park after going missing during an afternoon jog. Authorities concluded the 30-year-old died by strangulation and may have been sexually assaulted.

Days after, 27-year-old Vanessa Marcotte, a Google executive residing in New York City, was found dead in the woods in Princeton, Massachusetts, without any clothing and burns all over her body. Marcotte was visiting family in the area when she was killed.

In both cases, no one has been arrested and police say they haven't ruled out the possibility of a connection between their deaths.

To help residents feel more ready for a possible attack, PIX11's Kala Rama asked self-defense instructor Tish Tabb to show some simple defense tactics people can use.

Here are three simple tips that Tabb, an instructor with The Center for Anti-Violence Education, offers to help defend yourself from a potential attacker:

  • Be aware — know your surroundings and the park well
  • Use your voice
  • Get away

For more tips and tricks, watch our instructional video above, and additional information can be found on

The Center for Anti-Violence Education is based in Brooklyn, but works in all five boroughs.

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