I know what you are thinking – it is 2018! Women should not have to worry about things like this! I am a strong independent woman, and no man can make me feel less than that! As much as I want to truly believe that women today are a lot safer granted that we are given more value and respect than we were back in the day, there are still people out there who haven’t entirely evolved from old ways.
Be Street Smart
Unfortunately, there are many things we need to take caution for when we leave the comfort and safety of our homes. As much as we want to believe people know better and are more considerate of others, there are still dangerous people out there whether they are men or women.
However, let’s face it, women still get more unwanted attention than men do. Although it may not be as bad as it probably was before, it still exists. It is just the way the world works. As far as we have gone, no amount of women empowerment, protests, or any fight against this inequality can completely eradicate the treatment women still get when we are on the streets – both literally and figuratively. A lot must yet be done to improve this, and we still have a long way to go.
For now, so that we avoid putting ourselves in danger, it is only best that we know what to do to prevent unwanted situations. According to Lyn Yonack, MA, MSW, BCD-P, “When individuals experience their world as particularly threatening and unsafe, their risk of emotional distress and mental illness escalates.”
How To Avoid Danger
Ladies if you have walked outside alone or maybe even with some girls by your side you have probably experienced getting harassed. Whether it be physical harassment, an attempt at it, or being cat-called, if you find yourself in a position where you do not feel safe, don’t downplay the situation and always come prepared. According to Shahram Heshmat Ph.D., “When we are calm, slow rational thinking guides our decisions. However, strong emotions place a constraint on clear thinking.”
1. Avoid Wearing Clothing That May Draw Attention
This is not a jab at judging you for who you are or what kind of person you are based on what you wear. It is no question that women are usually targeted for sexual harassment and street assaults, so it is best that we know everything necessary to avoid anything from happening.
Although it is still possible to experience harassment regardless of what you are wearing, it is better that we do not draw the attention easier with what we wear. Cover up, at least when you decide you will be walking the streets alone, and especially at night.
2. Be Aware
“Awareness is the first step,” according to Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT. While you are walking along the streets, especially in busy areas like the city, be aware of your surroundings. Avoid listening to music with your headphones on, especially if you are new to the area. Personally, I love having my headphones on when I am walking alone to avoid people talking to me when I am rushing to places.
Usually, I am not listening to music when they are on, but I make sure I’m aware of what I’m doing, where I am, and who is around me. Given that, try not to look clueless or vulnerable either, as people may think that you don’t know your way around and it would be easier to target and take advantage of you.
3. Don’t Talk To Strangers
Yes, I am sure this is the type of advice our parents would constantly remind us of when we were younger. However, it can apply to any situation where you are on your own. You just never know what kind of things people are up to when they approach you. Trust your instincts. When you sense trouble with any particular person, keep walking.
There you have it, ladies! These are only three basic things to keep in mind when you’re on the streets on your own. A lot of what you apply comes from personal experience. Try not to put yourself in danger, and always take your experiences as ways to learn and know better.