Street smart safety education found lacking

Violence against women, sexual assault, predators — they’re not exactly comfortable things to talk about.

MIRANDA BROOKWELL – Youth Correspondent

“As a human rights issue, the effort to end violence against women becomes a government’s obligation, not just a good idea.” – Charlotte Bunch

Violence against women, sexual assault, predators — they’re not exactly comfortable things to talk about. It’s the sort of thing that makes your stomach squirm, the kind of stuff you only see on television, or on the news in huge cities.

That’s the problem.

As difficult as it is to think of that worst-case scenario as you’re walking home, perhaps a little more paranoia is what is needed. Too many young girls (me included) are consistently putting ourselves at risk. But who can blame us? The education on this sort of thing is practically non-existent. We continue to walk home alone at night, creeps continue to objectify women. It makes me sick.

As elementary students, we are taught about the threat of strangers, but from then on, there’s nothing. Young women (and men) need to know about assault, stalkers, and other scary topics as we get older and more independent. For the ladies, I found a few things I’d like to share.

Cosmopolitan magazine has a lot of R-rated material, but every issue has a crime story — a focus on rape, assault, or Internet predators, and tips for keeping yourself safe. Read them.

Trust your gut. If someone or someplace makes your skin crawl, there’s probably a good reason for that.

While reading up on this topic, I found an interesting site on self-defense written by a woman. One thing that stuck out to me was to not rely on a form of weapon. I suppose it helps, if you know how to use it, but the body (especially those feet to hit the pavement) is your best bet.

Accept the fact that regardless of how many times you hit the gym, men are physiologically stronger. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t still give it all you’ve got if you’re in a drastic situation with an attacker, but remember that you are not a superhero. Don’t put yourself in a position to be hurt. Don’t go looking for trouble.

Victim Services offers free self-defense workshops. Check them out.

Don’t be stupid when you party. Don’t leave your drink unattended.

If you have a Smartphone, check your App Store for safety applications. A really great one if you’re frequently walking at night is Streetsafe. Although there is a monthly fee included, the app gives you the option to call 9-1-1 with a simple slide of your phone, or to talk to 24/7 security advisors if you’re feeling scared. If you wanted to, you could call every day.

Tell someone where you’re going when you leave. Even if it’s not your parents, someone needs to know. Look out for each other, ladies.

I’m sorry if this article has offended or scared anyone, but it was a matter that needed to be addressed. To turn a blind eye to these sorts of crimes is exactly what makes them so awful. Get informed and be aware.

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