“Attacks on Maidens Must Stop,” said a headline, and the women of North Spokane adamantly agreed.
They were making plans to hire a private guard to protect young women at the end of the Astor and Division streetcar lines.
This was prompted by a series of late night attacks against young women. In the most recent incident, “a pretty young girl was attacked within a block of her home.” She was able to get away from the man, but she remained “in a highly nervous condition.” It was the fourth or fifth such assault; in only one case was the offender apprehended.
Mrs. M.A. Welsh of the local Mother’s Congress said it was time to take action.
“If the local police force is unable to protect women who return to their homes on the car lines in the evening, and the city authorities are not disposed to agree to the measures we propose to effect such protection, we shall take the matter of hiring a guard on our own,” said Mrs. Welsh.
At a mass meeting at the Hamilton School, the women of the area agreed to take up a subscription to pay for the guard, if necessary.
Mrs. Welsh noted that the city had tried to hire a woman police officer, “particularly to look after girls and young women,” but the department’s exam requirements “are so constructed that it is impossible for a woman to meet them.”
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