This week I was asked a very simple yet confusing question;
“Is it safe for a woman here?”
Now it seems straight forward and you would think that all you would need to say is a yes or a no but it’s not really that simple is it?
I was surprised when I was asked this question and I tried to answer it the best I could which was this; “I would like to think you are just as safe as anyone who was born and raised here. I feel I am safe at times but I have bad luck often where I am confronted with trouble. I think it depends on every situation.” When I thought about it afterwards I realized it may not have been the best answer but all I could think of at the time.
I can walk to the shop and back without being attacked but others may not be as lucky. Unfortunately we live in a world where no matter where you are there will always be an area or a type of person that will be scary, unsafe and even dangerous. The best advice I could give to someone about being safe is: Make sure you lock your door every time you get in. Don’t walk through the parks at night or early hours of the morning especially when it looks empty. Try to walk in a group and try to make friends with decent people/ the right kind of people that wont lead you to situations you are trying to avoid.
I also think unfortunately these days the way we look, act and think seem to play a part in certain situations but not all the time I don’t think… There may be a situation where you are good looking and someone decides to take advantage of the fact a young attractive person is walking through the park by themselves and think that this is the best time for a sexual attack. There may also be a situation where you aren’t very attractive and walk past a group of people or they see you walking round a corner alone or even with someone and they decide they want to follow you and attack you because of your looks. (One type of hate crime/bullying)
Other type of hate crimes are when we are targeted for the choice of lifestyle we lead or who we are with in terms of friendships and relationships. For some reason as far as we all may think we have come not every one accepts peoples individuality. A lot of people have been attacked purely because of the sound of their voice, the things that they do, the way that they dress and who they choose to live there life with. This happens to men and women by men and women.
Sometimes it can happen during the day and you are just walking with a friend and someone decided they want to follow you, harass you and then attack you just because they want to. It’s not okay and does happen and sometimes there is only the choices we are left with when you are cornered and no one has heard you shout for help. It can be to try and fight them off. It could be to just take it. Or it could be to try and find a way to flee from it. I would like to hope that there are still some decent human beings out there and that if they came across someone in these situations that they would come and help. But a lot of people seem to just walk on by and pretend or act like it isn’t happening or not get involved because they think it is none of their business. Or even just stand there and film it out of entertainment which isn’t right but happens often now.
Even kids are , harassing, abusing and attacking people!
Obviously if you are used to being in a city then you would know the ins and the outs of how to keep safe not to mention you know where to go, how to get there and the best routes – “Street Smart” is what I have been told. But if you are new to a city and not used to being in a city then it is gonna be harder for you to get your bearings and knowing which places and areas are safe to be in and which unsafe places to avoid.
I live In Southampton – a port city on England’s south coast. (The same place the titanic departed from.) In tourist leaflets they call it ” a green garden city” and although tourists love the place and it has loads of historic ruins, vaults, walls and old Tudor houses. Every city has a night life and every city has a crime rate. I looked up the crime rating when I got home after being asked the question and I found that Southampton’s crime rate is higher than average in recent years, which makes sense since we have more students than ever at the moment and it’s growing and let’s not forget the football stadium that attracts the fans who don’t know how to let go of a loss. But when you compare it to a major city like London then it’s not as shocking when you look at the stats.
What do you think? Is where you live safe for women or men? What would you have said if you were asked this Question? And what do you think of my statements of what happens in the world? I may have missed some things but I didn’t want to write a too long of a post.
Thanks for reading and look forward to hearing some responses.
x Emz x