In the spirit of today marking the end of Daylight Saving Time for the year 2021, (meaning we get an extra hour of sleep tonight!) I am going to discuss how so many of us today don’t feel safe walking alone at night.
Have you ever walked to your car late at night and found yourself scared just because you were alone?
If yes, well then you are not the only one, so many of us have felt this way.
The world has proven to be a scary place, and the sad truth is that you are more vulnerable and more likely to be attacked when walking alone at night.
As I prepared for this blog post, I performed a tiny experiment that involved asking a plethora of my friends if they too get scared when they walk alone at night.
I found that too many of my friends feel they need to carry something in their hands that could protect them just in case they do become a preditor’s target. I found that multiple girlfriends of mine, to feel safe, walk with keys in between their fingers, or carry pepper spray, or even tasers in hand while walking alone; I even found that one of my friends keeps a firearm under her driver car seat to make her feel safe. I think a gun is a little extreme, but, then again, who am I to judge what someone does for them to feel safe? It is very much possible that she has experienced something in her past that has made her feel as if she needs a firearm in her car to be safe.
This fear of being attacked while alone shapes and narrows women and minority’s life experiences, thus making it a feminist issue. Women and those within a minority will forgo a nighttime event because they don’t want to travel home alone afterward or forgo an evening jog, forgo a comment or an outfit, or sometimes even a friendship because it could imply something they don’t wish to convey.
Let’s revisit my previous question, “Have you ever walked to your car late at night and found yourself scared just because you were alone?”. It is important to acknowledge that if you responded no to this question, then you my friend are privileged. There isn’t anything wrong with being privileged, but it is important to note that there can be no change without the realization that it is a privilege to not have experienced the fear and vulnerability of walking alone at night. Walking alone should not make someone an easy target for violence and it is the sad truth that most women and most people that fall within a minority are going to respond yes to that previous question.
There should be actions being implicated to protect women and those who find themselves in a minority from violence, but in the meantime while we await change, I wanted to throw a few tips out so you can be prepared for when you do find yourself walking alone at night.
- Use your phone! Call someone, anyone. Tell them where you are, and throughout the phone call give updates ( “I am passing the liberty now, should be home in 10 minutes.” ) as you walk to your destination.
- If able, take a self-defense course so that you can protect yourself if needed.
- If you can don’t travel alone, the buddy system is great at keeping predators away.
- Carry something that can be used to protect yourself, as mentioned before, car keys in between your fingers, pepper spray, or a taser are great defense tactics if someone were to attack you.
- Lastly, if able, call and pay for a safe ride home, rather than walk alone.