Where the City SleepsPosted: August 10, 2007
And I’m the only one and I walk alone……
Do you know what I hate? Well…. many things. In fact, I intend to post a list of my pet hates fairly soon. Just so you know. But more than my pet hates, what I hate is this:
That every single time I talk about walking alone, I get asked questions about it, or told that that’s not such a good idea, or, blah, blah, blah.
Why don’t people just SAY it?
Don’t walk anywhere alone for you are a woman*! And we all know that if a woman walks anywhere on her own she immediately becomes prey for the myriad of stalkers, pimps, perverts and rapists who sneak through the night, waiting for their next foolish victim. And it isn’t their fault, poor things, because they have Teh Evil Menz Hormones, and can’t help but slake their lust on the first unprotected body with a pulse and the right number of holes that comes into their (evil-magically enhanced) field of vision……….
*Blame Blackadder for the emphasis there!
HOW ABOUT….. NO!!!!!!!
Look, I’m a city girl born and raised. I know the bloody rules, ok?! Oh, and I also know the following….
1 – that most rapes are not, in fact, commited by that shadowy “random rapist” lurking in the street, but by men that the victim knows and/ or trusts. Statistically, my boyfriend is more likely to assault me than that guy over there, innocently walking his dog. [This is not to say that “random rapists” don’t exist; they do, and they rape, and I’m not trying to deny this.]
2 – that although as a woman, I am more likely to be raped, I am in an age bracket which means that my male peers (yes, you heard, the men my age) are much, much more likely to be mugged or assaulted in the street than I am. [And as circumstantial evidence, I cite my sister, who claims that every single one of her large collection of male friends has been in some kind of fight / standoff / form of assault with/ from a random stranger]
The rules, by the way, are things like:
– If you’re carrying a bag, wear it across your body, it makes it more difficult to steal
– Walk upright, not overly fast, not creeping. You will seem more confident and less of a target
– Walk as though you know where you’re going. Indecision can be confused for weakness
– If you need directions, try to get them from a shop assistant, not from somebody in the street
– Don’t use your phone unless you absolutely have to. It distracts you from your surroundings
– Ditto MP3 players / Ipods etc
– Walk against the flow of traffic (ie, on the right) . That way nobody can follow you with their car
– Walk in the centre of the pavement. That way it’s harder to pull you into a driveway / house
– If you pass somebody, try to keep to the outside of the pavement (towards the road).
I do these things. I take reasonable precautions. And, actually, I like walking. A lot. And I don’t like the way I’m treated for insisting on walking alone, when I’m not the vulnerable one. So when people react with horror to the fact that I’m not scared, I shall smile to myself, secure in the knowledge that I have assessed the risk and found that actually, I’d have much more to worry about if I looked like a Big Strong Man.
Ps – these are my statistics – just so everybody knows I’m not being a silly girl who doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
1 – 82% of serious sexual assault and 83% of rapes are committed by someone who is known to the victim.
— “Seven per cent of women had suffered a serious sexual assault at least once in
their lifetime (five per cent of women had been raped and three per cent had
suffered another type of serious sexual assault involving penetration of the body).
Overall, 1.5 per cent of men had suffered a serious sexual assault at some point in
their lives with 0.9 per cent reporting rape. “
2 – “According to the 2004/05 BCS the risk of becoming a victim of violent crime is 3.6 per cent.
Young men aged 16 to 24 are most at risk; 14.6 per cent experienced some sort of violent
crime in the year prior to their BCS interview in 2004/05″
Have the link.