It is dark and I am alone as I walk to my car. Keys in hand and hyperaware of my surroundings, I think: “Maybe I should have listened to Grandma when she told me to keep bear spray on my keychain.”
“Women are at far greater risk than men for stalking victimization,” according to the “Women in America,” a report written by White House officials. Both boys and girls are taught at a young age to not talk to strangers or to walk without a buddy. Yet, as adults, women have to maintain these rules because they are targeted more often than men. There are many horror stories about women being abducted in parking lots when they are alone. Women do not want to be the next news headline or on the next missing persons flier. An instinct forms in the back of women’s minds as they choose their potential method of defense.
Typically, I will hold my keys in my hand or I will park under a safety camera conveniently attached to a street light. If I happen to be with one of my guy friends, I will ask him to escort me to my car, just in case. In addition to those strategies, I will call my mother if I have to walk a longer distance so if something does happen, she will know and call for help.
Each woman has a different safety precaution looming in the back of her mind when walking alone. The Whitworthian conducted a survey to see what those precautions might be for women on campus. Men are not taught to be hyper-vigilant because they are not seen as being helpless. On the other hand, women have to worry more about their perceived vulnerability being taken advantage of.
A stranger can strike at any time and it is in a woman’s best interest to be somewhat prepared for a situation such as this. Though we live in the safety and comfort of the Pinecone Curtain, a potential danger is possible.
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