A 15-year-old girl has been punched to the ground and raped in an alleyway in Salford, say police, leading them to warn young women to stick together in well-lit areas.
The warning – which also includes avoiding shortcuts – has been made after a teenager was attacked on Sunday night, at about 10pm, in an alleyway in Hilton Street, Little Hulton.
She was punched to the ground by a man who approached her from behind, police say.
Detective Chief Inspector Clare Devlin, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "I understand that the news a 15-year-old girl has been attacked and raped by a stranger will cause considerable unease and distress in this community.”
But she said the appeal would ensure people can “take the necessary precautions until he is caught.”
"In the interim, I would urge parents to advise their children to stick together, keep to well-lit areas and avoid taking shortcuts where possible," she added.
The 15-year-old “suffered the sort of traumatic ordeal no-one should ever have to experience and we are offering her as much support as she needs at this difficult time,” she said.
The suspect is described as in his 40s with a large stomach and he was wearing black tracksuit bottoms and a hat and a blue bubble-type coat.
Specially trained officers are working with the victim, the senior officer added, and patrols have been increased in the area.