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Women Post What’s On Their Mental Checklist To Feel Safe, And It’s Horrific That All Women Relate To It
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People, Social Issues1 year ago

Women Post What’s On Their Mental Checklist To Feel Safe, And It’s Horrific That All Women Relate To It

Sarah Everard’s disappearance on March 3 has put the discussion about sexual harassment, assault, and kidnapping in the spotlight in the UK. Women have been coming forward and sharing their experiences with being harassed. Meanwhile, others have been sharing the concerns they have for their safety every day. Below you will find some of the mental checklists that women run through to stay safe, as well as their stories about what it’s like to constantly live in fear. This particular discussion was started up by left-wing activist and human rights barrister Harriet Johnson on Twitter.

33-year-old marketing executive Sarah was last seen in Clapham, in south London. Since then, a senior London Metropolitan Police officer has been arrested in a house in Kent while human remains have been found in a wooded area in the city. It has just been confirmed that the remains are those of the missing woman.

Plan International UK explained to Bored Panda that self-defense lessons may help women feel safer and more empowered. However, defense tools like mace and pepper spray are illegal in the UK. If you feel threatened or if you are in immediate danger, call 999 in the UK.

Meanwhile, Jorge Arteaga, the Deputy Director at ‘Hollaback!’ told Bored Panda that women should be able to walk safely without fear of being harmed or harassed because of who they are or how they identify. “I think Covid restrictions have possibly created some unsafe situations. A personal example I can share is here in NYC where I live. The subway system ridership drop to below 50% usage over the pandemic because less people are in the city, or are afraid to take public transportation, and one of the restrictions placed stopped train service from 1- 5 AM and reduced schedules. This led to unsafe conditions in the subway system.”

After Sarah Everard’s disappearance, women have been sharing what they do to stay safe on the streets

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A representative of Plan International UK gave victims of public sexual harassment some advice to keep in mind that may be helpful: “You are not to blame for the harassment you experience. Only the harasser is to blame, and only their behavior should change. Trust your instincts, if something feels not right then it probably isn’t. You are not alone. Unfortunately, half of the girls in the UK experienced public sexual harassment this summer. This means there are lots of people and places you can reach out to for support and solidarity.”

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Every instance of public sexual harassment is different, therefore, unfortunately, the only piece of advice that Plan International UK can give everyone is to try to leave the situation safely. “This is because it depends on many factors including how serious or unsafe the incident is, how the individual girl feels, and where it is happening—we would not want to suggest any action that could further escalate the situation. However, if you feel threatened in the moment or you are in immediate danger, call 999.”

What’s more, you can report the event to the police, and here are some steps that you can take that will help later on. “Make Notes. Always write down the time, location, and a description of what has happened as soon as you feel able to do so. Send it by email to yourself or take a photograph of any notes so there is a time-stamping. You may be able to refer to contemporaneous notes later if necessary to help remind you of critical details you noticed when it was fresh in your mind. Try to be as factual as you can: this happened, then that happened, and these were the details, and this is how I felt.”

If you’re a victim of public sexual harassment, you should also tell someone you trust about this. “That might be critical supportive evidence later. You can also write to local councilors or your MP about the incident. If it is carried out by an identifiable employee, you could also write to their employer asking for measures to be taken,” Plan International UK said.

“Seek support and comfort. Do not suffer alone in silence. Experience of other forms of abuse shows that one of the most frightening things is to carry the burden of what has happened on your own. Part of the damaging effects of abusive behavior is that it can be isolating and create an unwarranted sense of shame in you. There are various ways to find support. If you’ve experienced public sexual harassment and need to talk to someone, you can call Childline on 0800 1111 or visit their website.”

Plan International UK explained that not all forms of public sexual harassment are currently illegal. “Girls have told us that they’ve been turned away by the police when they have tried to report it. This is why we are running the #CrimeNotCompliment campaign to call for new, clearer legislation to make public sexual harassment a specific criminal offense. We would encourage all to join the campaign here.” Plan International UK has partnered up in the campaign together with Our Streets Now.

Some women have also shared their own experiences being harassed and assaulted

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“Sarah’s disappearance in these awful and wicked circumstances is every family’s worst nightmare,” the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, said.

Dick explained that it’s still “incredibly rare” for a woman to be abducted in the streets of London. However, she pointed out that she understands that many women are afraid for their safety after recent events. “I completely understand that despite this, women in London and the wider public—particularly those in the area where Sarah went missing—will be worried and may well be feeling scared.”

Sarah was spotted on doorbell video footage at around 9:30 p.m. on March 3, walking home from a friend’s house. Her family became worried and raised the alarm after she’d not been in contact with her friends since then.

On March 9, police arrested a member of the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command who is in his 40s.

“Reclaim These Streets” is organizing a series of vigils all over the UK to highlight women’s safety. However, the police have pointed out that due to Covid restrictions, it’s illegal to do so in London at the moment. The organizers of the vigils plan to take this to the High Court.

“Remember that it’s not your fault”

In a previous interview, Bored Panda spoke about street harassment with Emily May, the Co-Founder and Executive Director at ‘Hollaback!’

“Street harassment is sexual, gender-based, and bias-motivated harassment that takes place in public spaces like the street, the supermarket, and the social media we use every day. At its core is a power dynamic that constantly reminds historically subordinated groups of our vulnerability to assault in public spaces. Street harassment can happen to anyone, but disproportionately punishes women, girls, LGBTQ+ people, and other marginalized groups for being themselves in the world,” May said.

“Street harassment is on a spectrum of gender-based violence. At one end of the spectrum, we have examples like inappropriate gestures, staring, whistling, following, and comments about your appearance or identity,” May told Bored Panda.

“As we move along the spectrum we start to see more severe forms of street harassment like public exposure and groping that are illegal. We include these behaviors in how we define street harassment because they are so common, pervasive, and rarely reported to authorities.”

Street harassment, according to May, is at its core all about power dynamics. “If street harassment were about getting dates, it would be what author Marty Langelan calls a ‘spectacularly unsuccessful strategy.’ Instead, street harassment is about ‘putting people in their place.’ Remember that it’s not your fault. And because it’s not your fault, it’s also not your responsibility to have the perfect response to street harassment. It’s their responsibility not to harass you.”

May highlighted to Bored Panda that everyone is vulnerable to street harassment to some extent. However, research shows that those who are aware of their surroundings, walk confidently, and respond to harassment with confidence are less vulnerable than others.

“Nevertheless, direct confrontations with people who harass can escalate, particularly if you are alone or in an unpopulated space. While it is each individual’s right to decide when, how, and whether to respond to street harassment, it’s important to prioritize your safety and wellbeing,” May said.

‘Hollaback!’ Co-Founder May said that when you find you’re harassed on the street, the first thing that you should do is trust your instincts. You and you alone should decide how you react. If you feel safe, you can try documenting the situation; however, your safety is your priority.

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What do you think ?
Celeste Grant
Community Member
1 year ago

Women really do these things... please don't belittle their experiences just because you yourself haven't had to do it. If you haven't then you are lucky. I grew up in places people would consider "safe" yet I was taught these things; it can and does happen everywhere. I have a friend who was sexually assaulted in a car park in daylight. She screamed and was rescued by a man who heard her screams, who then chased down her attacker. He was caught and jailed. The thing that she struggled with was that she felt she had done everything right; she parked in a busy, well lit car park, she had her keys in her hand, she had left before it got dark... she felt she had to tell people this in case they suggested that she was in some way U.K. blame. Victim shaming is very real which is just appalling.

deanna woods
Community Member
1 year ago

Yes, women do all of these things in order to feel safe and that should not be belittled. Every evening when I enter my apartment, I check every room in my apartment and then text my sister that I made it in safely. This is one of the things that make us both feel more secure in our homes.

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Mark Schilling
Community Member
1 year ago

It strikes me sometimes when I go out at night -- to run to the store to get something -- how completely safe I am. As a white man the worst I could ever expect is to be mugged and at 52 that has never happened. I've lived in Toronto and Montreal and spent several months in Berlin and I have never felt unsafe at night by myself. And it's easy to be complacent in my privilege. I'm white so I don't fear the police and I'm a man so I don't fear men. But I have realized when I freely run to the store at 1am to get milk, and doing so without a second thought, that my friends who are women, or black, or trans, cannot do that. They would have to wait until daylight. Once I understood this I finally understood privilege. I know some reading this will accuse me of virtue signally, or white knighting, or being woke, as if having empathy was a bad thing. But once you understand privilege you realize it's not about being ashamed to be a white man or to apologize but to listen and to act.

Frankenfrog
Community Member
1 year ago

I think you hit the nail on the head

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Gandalf the Pink
Community Member
1 year ago

Teaching how to stay safe is all good but can we also teach men to not put women in danger in the first place?

Stephanie Keith
Community Member
1 year ago

Can actual rapists be taught though? I don't think predators of that magnitude can be taught. As for no predator males, they definitely should be taught boundaries, respect, and consent.

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Sathe Wesker
Community Member
1 year ago

This all so insanely true. My mom taught me the key trick the second I was able to walk to school by myself. My two best friends are male, one I've known since we were five, they are well aware of these issue (especially since we grew up in a ghetto) and insist I contact them if need be, or when on a first date, or getting off a late shift and I'm home. It's sad that in 2021 it's still like this.

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 year ago

Depends how you hold them. i was taught by a self-defense instructor.

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Rae Reyn
Community Member
1 year ago

Broad daylight, nice suburban neighborhood. I (female) take my daughter (12) on a run with me. At the half mile mark, she usually turns back and I continue on. two days ago I passed her my phone and said a loud "Just in case, since I can fight and have a knife." (I always say this, just in case) A older male in the nearby garage said "Hahaha, there goes my plans." Dude, wtf. So, I also passed my daughter my knife and showed her where the brachial and femoral arteries are. I stood in front of the house until I saw my kid arrive home. The whole time the guy was like, 'It's a joke, I was joking'. I'm not small woman and a competitive fighter, so I wasn't ~too~ worried about myself, but my daughter is a petite tennis player. Seriously, who the F**k jokes about that?!

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 year ago

Well done! Also, announce loudly, "ENUCLEATION OF THE EYES. The blind can't see you to chase yoU!" as my mother did. :-)

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Easily Excitable Panda
Community Member
1 year ago

The most important thing women must remember is this: You are under no obligation to be polite. F**k politeness!

tuzdayschild
Community Member
1 year ago

Yes yes and might I say YES!

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qwerty
Community Member
1 year ago

Two comments that are sure to be here, "Happens to men too" and, "Not all men". I don't care how many downvotes I get for this, but its true.

Yort
Community Member
1 year ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Look, I’m not even a man, but I’m tired of people shitting on men for being upset at people saying men are monsters and rape women and do nothing. I mean imagine saying black people are criminals. Some are, but of course people would be upset with that generalization. Or if you said women are predators, you’d expect someone to be upset. Some ARE, but not all of them, and the ones who aren’t are liable to be upset.

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Doggo Froggo
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

Wow.... this post reminded me of how terrifying it can be... tbh, it has made me feel more scared but I'm presuming that is worth more knowledge? My father has taught me self defence, the best ways to deal with certain situations, what are bad ideas (so like drinking something you left unattended, for example) and basically anything else he can to help me protect myself. It is disgusting that women need to know these things and we need to change that... but how, exactly? Until it is almost certain they will be caught and serve the consequences, predators have no reason to stop (to their sick minds).

LilSugarDemon
Community Member
1 year ago

I'm 13. I had a guy following and luckily a friend was able to come to help me out. It's terrifying that it can even happen at a younger age. It's disgusting too. Seriously if women are this scared, this has to change!

Paradise
Community Member
1 year ago

and unfortunately 13 is a prime age - you're becoming a woman but you're still a child and sickos enjoy that. I suggest taking a self-defense class. I have too many injuries I can't mtself, and I hope to re-enroll my daughter when she can handle it better.

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RoseTheMad
Community Member
1 year ago

Pepper spray/Mace isn't legal in the UK, and iirc, many parts of Europe. So to help my fellow women: EVEAID. It's legal in the UK, i don't know about elsewhere, but it's an odorous spray that resembles pepper spray/mace, has invisible UV dye and clings to the clothing of a potential attacker, making them easier for police to identify. It's a bit pricey, and admittedly I haven't had to use mine yet, but I can say for sure that I feel much safer knowing I have something like this.

Ozacoter
Community Member
1 year ago

Thanks for the tip. I was using a deodorant spray. Not as effectice but it still stings and its totally inocent looking. I hate how our safety isnt important in europe

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Shalini Pabreja
Community Member
1 year ago

In what universe is it okay for one half of a species to constantly prey on the other half? Why is this okay and why aren’t there crazy strict laws in place to avoid this from happening at any time?

Paradise
Community Member
1 year ago

The universe is ours unfortunately....

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Iapetos
Community Member
1 year ago

If you post this kind of thing here, some men in the comments will start sulking because they cannot relate.

NMN
Community Member
1 year ago

I think it's hard sometimes. I am a woman and I can't relate to most of those. I can try to empathize and understand/learn that my reality does not represent the majority

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lara
Community Member
1 year ago

Not all men, in fact the vast majority, are not bad. BUT how do I know who is "bad" and who isn't? I never drive with my doors unlocked. I never go anywhere alone after dark and I never put myself in situations that "questionable." But a great many women do not have that luxury and they MUST assume that they are a target in order to protect themselves.

QueerTheory
Community Member
1 year ago

Only some men rape, but all men benefit from it. Only some women get raped, but all women fear it. Brownmiller 1977.

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Cynthia Bonville
Community Member
1 year ago

So... I read all of these and something to remember, trust your gut. If things don't feel okay, they probably are not - this has allowed me to walk at night and not worry about most men. Those that bother you, look them in the eye and do not waiver - making them acknowledge your humanity is often enough to slow their roll. Yes do all this as well, but do not be intimidated, they want your fear and you changing to accommodate them. Since I've learned this I have not been assaulted, not in college, traveling across the country alone in a strange city, on unfamiliar transportation, traveling alone on inter-country highways all in my 20s. Oh, and a common technique is for the perp to make you feel unsure and doubt yourself, have faith in your own self. And stop smiling to make men more comfortable.

Iapetos
Community Member
1 year ago

Yes, I once saw a creepy dude, eerily staring at me. Stared back eerily. Note that it may engage them in a conversation :-) He was really weird, not in a good way. Talked about Hitler...

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Sheila Stamey
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

I had a man follow my car in bright daylight, into a gas station, jump out and threaten me with bodily harm, even though my fifty year old mother was in the car. Another woman started backing me up, but he wouldn't be dissuaded, until a friend happened ( thank You God) to see what was going on, stop and confront the guy. The friend was male. He was told to teach his b*#@h how to drive. He was punched in the nose by my friend. I've been grabbed and french kissed by men I trusted as platonic friends, once in front of my husband, absolutely with no encouragement on my behalf. People just don't understand.

J. Normal
Community Member
1 year ago

Can not tell you how many times I was "dry humped" on the subway. Only good reason to wear stiletto heels.

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Jarno Flinkers
Community Member
1 year ago

It's so sad women have to think like this. I just hope my lady-friends know they may always call me to pick them up, walk them to their cars or call them a cab. My parents taught me to take care of all my friends. So i'd do it for my male friends too.

Aunt Messy
Community Member
1 year ago

You have to TELL THEM. Make sure they know, don't just assume they do.

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Donkey boi
Community Member
1 year ago

DO NOT PLACE YOUR KEYS BETWEEN YOUR FINGERS!!! The only injury will be to you, and you can do permanent damage! Keys are not an effective weapon. An eyeliner pencil would be more effective. A small lighter enclosed in your fist will make any punch more effective. A drink bottle jabbed at the face will have a surprising impact (aim for the nose if you can) and give a little extra reach. A newspaper or magazine, rolled tightly will be more powerful than your punches. And never underestimate the power of a solid kick, bring the knee up first, then extend your leg forwards, driving with your upper leg muscles (think of it as stamping forwards rather than down). The most important thing to remember is that if a someone has grabbed you, you need to cause enough pain to make their hand's want to attend to their injury. Scratches can be very useful in this regard, the deeper the better. It will also leave evidence for the police.

Star
Community Member
1 year ago

Thanks! That’s actually really useful.

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Tracy Sellars
Community Member
1 year ago

Anyone else shocked by how many of things you do automatically without thinking about it.

J. Normal
Community Member
1 year ago

I still get "questioned" by male friends. And my trans friends do not understand that the caution/fear has been with me all my life.

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Wolfstar
Community Member
1 year ago

My best friend taught me the key trick and where to hit a guy after his younger sister was catcalled by a group of men when she was walking home from the bus stop. He was 13, she was 11, and I was 10.

Gabby M
Community Member
1 year ago

She was ELEVEN?! Good gracious that's horrifying. She was literally a child.

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Mushroom Garden
Community Member
1 year ago

Good golly, I am terrified of this happening to me. It's not something to be taken lightly. I was glad when school closed and I didn't have to walk there by myself anymore. Nice, safe, neighborhood, but I've had a couple of incidents that give me reason to be afraid. :(

One Trick Porpoise
Community Member
1 year ago

I am male, met a woman on a dating site, wrote to each other for a week or so and decided to go on a date. While prepping for a date we were texting, and I asked her does anyone know where and with whom did she go with, and she said no, she did not want anyone to know she met a guy online (she thought it was embarrassing to be on a dating site). I postponed the date until she proved to me that someone close to her knew exactly where, when and with who she was going, and I did the same. It was a few years ago, I was 31, she 26. It kind of freaked me out, the way she was so careless meeting a total stranger after a week of texting. Our city is considered safe, but damn, that was scary. Please let people know where you are, I as a man do this.

J. Normal
Community Member
1 year ago

THANK YOU!

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Carmen Elena
Community Member
1 year ago

Thi is sadly true. I always tell my daughter that if someone tries to touch her, says something inappropiate or whatever, she has to make as much noise as she can, "dont be afraid: scream!" It makes me so sad and angry she has to be aware of this sh*t... she is only 8!

Melanie King
Community Member
1 year ago

Yea, i can remember my dad telling me this stuff probably when i was like 5 or 6, basically any time i was in a public place and not right by their side, i would always get reminded, "If someone trys to touch you, scream as loud as you can, and don't stop screaming"

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Anxiety
Community Member
1 year ago

Yeah, I relate especially to the never walk at night. If I’m going anywhere at night I’m taking some sort of cab, with friends, and pepper spray.

Aragorn II Elessar
Community Member
1 year ago

I always, always, always, walk my female friends to their destination when I’m transporting them. S**t happens.

Beans
Community Member
1 year ago

Well yeah, we all remember what happened last time you left your lady friend alone... A Nazgul showed up. Luckily she didn't need your help but still. ;)

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Deep
Community Member
1 year ago

Not key but I always had a sharp object in my hand. I have been doing this since I was 14! And I have know all my female friends or relatives do similar thing. We are conscious of steps of the person walking behind us on streets. Who knows who is following? I know not all are danger to us. In fact most are not (I hope so), but we can't let our guard down.

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

I am extremely grateful that I feel pretty safe and don’t need to do any of the things listed above except not going out alone at night. I will never do that coz I do feel unsafe then. So saying EVERY woman does those things is incorrect. Don’t get me wrong I have thought about what I could do if I was ever threatened. I just haven’t gone out of my way to protect myself coz I haven’t felt the need.

sturmwesen
Community Member
1 year ago

I agree. Most of these I never felt the need for. I use my phone or change the street and that's basically it. And even that is only a nighttime or abandond area issue. It's not even a fear for rape for me but more general mugging which is an issue for men too. I do definitly not deny that some women or some areas have big problems in female safety but I for one don't share it.

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Lunar Bicycle
Community Member
1 year ago

When I’m out in the world I try so much to be aware that, even though I know that women are safe around me, women don’t know that about me. I’m just a strange man to them. For instance, if a woman gets off the bus before me and we’re coincidentally headed in the same direction with few people around, I either simply stop or slow quite a bit for a few moments so she doesn’t feel like I’m following her, or simply cross the street. It’s important for men to not only not actually be a threat to women, which should go without saying, but to also make that extra effort to not seem a threat. It takes little time or effort to do this small courtesy.

J. Normal
Community Member
1 year ago

Also, sometimes you can walk quicker than them, if you are in front of me = no threat. Behind me = I will always be listening for your foot steps or watching your shadow/ reflection.

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xHinatax
Community Member
1 year ago

The Uber/cab one. I always text my husband and child when I’m getting in and on my way home. I turn on location so I can be tracked. You never know when that ride might be your last.

JennyBee
Community Member
1 year ago

hehe I'm eleven and I don't go places alone and I still do that.

Sheanna Caban
Community Member
1 year ago

Rather than not look a person in the eye, I will POINTEDLY look a person in the eye, almost saying with my mind "I see you. Do not F**K with me. I will break you." I will literally do anything, ANYTHING, to keep myself safe. I'll spit, bite, kick, scream, attack back, pee on myself....I don't care. I am not nice. I am not polite.

J. Normal
Community Member
1 year ago

When I have had to deal with a situation when I was terrified, I convince myself to appear that I am the biggest badass out there. If a 4'11" 61yr old woman stands up straight and gives you the "look" right in the eye. Most men/attackers will think twice about risking it. I am NOT an easy target.

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Frankenfrog
Community Member
1 year ago

I live in a very safe country. I'm never afraid walking around at night or alone even with music in my ears. I've only ever had one experience where I felt someone was following me, and I ran like hell to get away. I can't imagine living in fear like this all the time. What a sick world we live in.

Si
Community Member
1 year ago

What country is that?

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Tiari
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

Most of those I never did, and some I did on occasion but definitely not on a regular basis. Except texting when I arrive home. That’s the one I always do.

Vicki Kloske
Community Member
1 year ago

I took all my stuffed animals out of the back window of my car. One time I was parked far out in the lot and when I got back to my car, there was a van with a sliding doorparjed really close to my driver's door. Plenty of parking, so it wasn't a case of that was the only spot open I didn't bother to try and squeeze in and get in, so I got in on my passenger side, climbed over my fear shift. At which point, the van drove off. Thought nothing about it until the local newspaper mentioned girls were being targeted by men in a van for abduction. You wouldn't know my car was owned by a girl looking at the exterior or interior. Luckily learned my lesson.

Nikki Sevven
Community Member
1 year ago

Everything listed in this article and more. One night, I was driving home from band practice. A car full of men repeatedly tried to drive next to me to talk, catcall, whatever. I sped up, and they followed me. Getting on the highway, I steered toward the exit leading to downtown with them right on my tail. At the last second, I swerved onto the next ramp, then sped over the bridge and off another exit. They were too close to follow me, but I feel it was a narrow escape. It took quite a while for my heartrate to return to normal.

InfectedVoice
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

This makes me want to cry reading this, because I have heard my wife say it and heard my mother telling my sisters pretty much the same thing. I don't want to hear "we're not all like this though", how do they know guys? A woman doesn't know me from a serial killer, I know I'm a good dude but how can I expect someone else to know that automatically, none of the sick pieces of s**t have that stamped on their forehead, sadly. Things needs to change, but they won't.

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 year ago

Bless you. BTK was a nice normal family man, and just happened also to be a serial killer... We cannot know. It's not like the "bad guys" are readily identified by a neon arrow flashing over their head, cartoon-style, saying "BAD GUY!"

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Kim Lorton
Community Member
1 year ago

When someone is attacked, it never matters what they wear, or said, or didn't say or do. The attack happens because the attacker wants it to happen. It is never the victims fault! People say, well, oh, look w hat she was wearing ... excuse me, but s he could be in a sweat shirt and baggy pants, and the attacker isn't deterred! He wants todo it, the power is the reason. Not sex not anything else. To dominate, overpower and the feeling to do what you want, and they can't do a thing... that is why the attacks happen. Sick people.

Melanie King
Community Member
1 year ago

This is so sad that stuff like this happens, and that women have to protect themselves this way. My parents don't let me walk around by myself so ive never had any instance of a man following me or anything but even in the car, there's been a couple times where my mom will take a random turn down a road ive never seen before, and when i ask why she says "I was just makig sure the car behind us wasnt following us." HOW IS IT THIS BAD THAT WE HAVE TO BE AFRAID WHILE DRIVING IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. She also carries a taser sround, and my dad taught me how to punch correctly a long time ago, as well as a few other things if any men try to touch me

Melanie King
Community Member
1 year ago

Oh and also i asked my mom once why you had to press the unlock button twice to unlock the car, and she told me if you pressed it once it would only unlock the drivers door so that you could get in and drive away without an attacker being able to get in on the other side.

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Tara Ray
Community Member
1 year ago

THIS is why women’s only safe spaces need to exist!!

Peter Ian Staker
Community Member
1 year ago

I'm a 6'2" 18 stone bloke and realise I'm intimidating so I cross the road at night when there's a woman coming the other way (on the same side of the road as me obv). I can't really think of anything else to do in the situation.

J.Norton
Community Member
1 year ago

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus......................I do EVERY SINGLE ONE of these examples without even thinking about it anymore, I just do it because I have had so many damn scary experiences. So scary that this has become my norm: walking very tall, straight and determined to present a "don't mess with me" vibe, my head at a constant swivel, crossing the street in strange ways, always checking windows, mirrors, etc to see if that presence behind me is too close. It's exhausting. And before anyone says, "why so defensive? why so "paranoid"? It is because of years, literal years of blindingly frightening episodes of being followed, being harrassed (verbally & otherwise), being forced into untenable scenarios with no visible way out. I am a happy person! I smile, often! I reach out & engage to those around me, but in the back of my mind, a small part of my brain is saying "keep a look out". Sigh.

Iggy
Community Member
1 year ago

An interesting article for those who may not realise the true extent of the problem. This is just one country but it is a universal issue. https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/97-of-women-in-the-uk/105940/

Son of Philosoraptor
Community Member
1 year ago

I teach martial arts. You can't be safe by wishing people weren't predators. Women have to get over the idea that they're helpless... Any woman can learn to be a badass fighter with training and for God's sake - the key thing is stupid. Carry a knife. Yes, a knife. A trained 100 pound woman can take any unarmed man if she's got her knife. The world will not become a peaceful place, but you don't have to think of yourself as a victim. Take charge.

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 year ago

I was taught to use the key trick by a self-defense instructor, but I suspect now that this is NOT the same "key thing" that others refer to. Someone explain what other women do? B/c I was taught to use the keys to slash, as if I'm holding a tiny knife, if matters reach that point. They never have... yet. I do practice, however, and own a key that is basically a mini-knife. (I sharpened it a bit, ahem.) Note: My "school" was "don't go down, don't get killed".

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ToGo
Community Member
1 year ago

I have done everything those ladies listed (except finishing work early to do for a run while it's still light out - not a running fan!). I've still been raped and sexually assaulted. The rape was a guy I knew. That was once, couldn't begin to say how many times I've have my butt, chest, crotch grabbed, been followed, stared at, been a "f*cking b!tch" because I was too tired to make conversation with a strange man on the train home from work. Consent is something that, sadly, should be taught at an early age. I can't help but feel though that rapists, male or female, have that sickness ingrained into them.

Deceased Nemo
Community Member
1 year ago

I can't believe how many women are belittled for these things like the one where the women checked the back and the male friend laughed at it. We actually have to do these things because we hear so many stories and will NEVER feel safe outside at any time during the day because onlookers just think oh someone else will deal with it, look up the bystander effect, we can literally NEVER feel safe public place or not.

Jessica MüRi
Community Member
1 year ago

I was raped when I was 13 in broad daylight. He was also 13. We went to the same class. He was the leader of a group that kept bullying and beating me up every day for 6 months. When I finally told my parents about the beating (I never, to this day mentioned the rape) they drove me to school and got me after school, until I got to go to another school. It was horrible

Roshan Dash
Community Member
1 year ago

That felt very sad to read through. The issue is probably more prominent here in India.

Michelle Gosney
Community Member
1 year ago

I always get my friends husbands/boyfriends to walk me the whole 300 yards to my house after dark. Take maybe 2 mins, but still.

Ivana
Community Member
1 year ago

So I never wanted to go to any public place by myself. Remember going to the grocery store on my own for the first time in forever and when I got home I went on a huge rant to my husband about this d**k who kept making jokes about my meat and followed me around the store. Honestly had not been to the grocery store alone in years at that point and I forgot just how shitty it can be. I am in my 30s now and I was talking with my boss about how happy we were to be older because the older we got the less harassment we face and the more we get treated like actual humans, even in professional settings. Thank god our beauty standards are so skewed that at the age of 30 I am no longer seen as attractive enough to harass in public. 14 year old me got cat called all the time, 30 year old me can actually walk the streets with only the occasional cat call. Though not to pleased that when I was harassed the most I wasn't even old enough to drive a car. Sick.

giovanna
Community Member
1 year ago

I can relate

Paradise
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

My mailbox is at the end of the block. I try not to go at night. I live 3 doors from a school I worked at. There is a big, open, grass space between. I hope to work there again - which means 6am walking there and 6pm walking back (split shift). I am actually nervous to do so. That company have a rule that 2 staff have to be present and walking in together at all times, because of a near-murder that occured in the field with another company, so my staff and I would then not be walking in together. I had hot coffee in a metal travel mug each morning that could have helped if attacked. Had a staff once who had NO concept of self-defense. Kept asking where our weapon was (in a childcare at a school, as if we had a gun or something...) and we kept saying you grab what you can if you don't have self-defense training. Took a whole 5 minutes to explain.

Pilot Chick
Community Member
1 year ago

I had a job where I was scheduled to work until 2 am. I texted the coworker that took over for the rest of the night when I was home safe. There were so many nights where I had to detour to the 24hr grocery store because a car was following me. It was also the longest walk from the parking lot to my apartment.

Monilip
Community Member
1 year ago

Well, I'm woman and I refuse to be paranoically scared like this. Living in such fear, on daily basis.... That is scary.

Agata Bauk-Ribeiro
Community Member
1 year ago

I agree. I think perhaps it also depends on the ocuntry you live in? I've barely done any of these things and I used to live in UK, Poland and Portugal. Perhaps it's luck, but I have never experienced any threatining behavior from any men and i do not have any close friends that did. I do understad though that it might be different in different places around the world and hope it will get better.

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no_name
Community Member
1 year ago

When a guy you have known for years invites you to take a walk with him, it doesn't necessarily means he has pure intentions. Be sure you have anything you can defend yourself with. Because you can think you know him, but you don't know him at all.

Jessica Aubé
Community Member
1 year ago

I am truly thankful to live somewhere where I can’t relate to 80 percent of what’s been posted here Even the original post I can’t really relate to

Vicky Zar
Community Member
1 year ago

This is in the UK? And here I thought this did not often happen in Europe. I never really felt that afraid in all my life. And I lived in Hamburg my early 20ies. I was out at night quite often. Even on the Reeperbahn, which you might think could be dangerous.

Martz Migraña
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

Reading this post from the uk, sensing the same uneasiness we women sense in Mexico just shatters me. Because I somehow always kept the hope that "yes, México it's an unsafe place if you're a woman. It's a country whose roots in misogyny are too deep to cut them off" but also I thought that maybe out there, in those countries we called "first world" in Latin America, things where different. That there was somehow more respect and that women didn't live their lives in a constant state of fear. I feel very sorry for my sisters in the UK and in any other country that faces this constantly, because I, as any other female in Mexico, well know how does it feel.

Daniel R.
Community Member
1 year ago

I can't see how anyone would get triggered by these posts. Just because it hasn't happened to you or anyone you know, doesn't mean it doesn't happen often. No reason to belittle anyone just because you can't relate.

Jessica Malone
Community Member
1 year ago

My husband and I know this all to well. We face teaching our daughter that the world is not safe because she is female. My personal experiences are innumerable. My own parents, although I am 31, still remind me to be safe. It's a scary place for women in so many regards. Stay safe ladies, it isn't your fault.

GirlFriday
Community Member
1 year ago

My work often has me attend events downtown in the city. I carry flats in my bag and will put them on to leave the event if I parked more than a block away or in a garage so that I can run/stand my ground/fight better, I have no problem asking a cop or security guard to walk me to my car, I always have my keys out, but never unlock the door (remote unlock) until I am next to the car. There are certain venues that I will not attend events at because the space is not well-lit, the bathrooms are down a dark hallway, the parking is too far away, etc. If I uber somewhere, I will drive to the clubhouse and let the uber or cab pick me up/drop me off there so they don't where I live. A first date NEVER knows where I live.

Vicky Z
Community Member
1 year ago

I live in an area that is considered to be quite safe and yet I still do most of the things listed for protection!! the list with what men do to protect themselves and what women, hit me hard! Men have no idea what it means to have a whole plan in order to make sure you will be home safe! And the sad thing is we learn these things from a really young age! It would be better if the kids were taught not to harm, not to bully, not to threaten and most basic of all that no means no!!!

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

This is a short satirical song by women about this very topic of walking home, I highly recommend it, I feel like it's what I think myself: https://youtu.be/jgCBNOAz7V4

Apollo
Community Member
1 year ago

When I turned 13 my older sister gave me a pocket knife and taught me how to use is. One of her friends had been sexually assaulted at a bus stop and she didn't want that to happen to me. I have never been attacked before thankfully but I still carry a quick release pocket knife in my pocket pretty much everywhere I go. I also sleep with a set of tomahawks next to my bed when I am home alone.

Charlotte A.
Community Member
1 year ago

I'm a woman and I have maybe done three of the things listed above? But then again... none of ya'll know me so I guess I don't count. *shrugs* I'm very happy to live in a country and location where I don't have to walk around feeling afraid all the time, though.

Sunil Vanmullem
Community Member
1 year ago

I'm a bloke and also don't walk alone at night on dark paths. I call an uber when I can't drive. Also having been a volunteer for police affiliated crisis agencies men are not safe either. Male rape and murder also happen

Stephen Foley
Community Member
1 year ago

For years I have followed this procedure:- If I get off a bus or tram in the evening or in a place where there are few if any people around and a lone woman also alights at that stop I will let her get well away from me especially if she is heading down the same road. I will stop to look at my mobile phone or check the tiimetable at the stop to enable her to get clear. If she heads off in another direction or along an adjoining road then no problem but if the same road I am taking I will slow down and l maintain my distance until she either enters her desitination or I arrive at mine.