I wanted to share a small anecdote to drive it home that women just want to get home safely without fear and that you have the power to make that happen.
I was walking home from the store. It wasn’t long after the sun went down. The walk isn’t very long since I have difficulty walking. There is only one shopping centre close enough for me to venture out to. There isn’t a street light to light on the way and the vegetation is high and thick. It can get quite dark and unless someone else is out in the street. No one can see you from the comfort of their homes.
“Here’s a strongly held opinion for you: Telling women to modify their behaviour to avoid being victims of violent crime makes women less safe, as it allows predators to view women not adhering to these “rules” as fair game.” – Lena @DeaExLena
I am always aware of my surroundings when I am out and about. I notice a tall white man, with a bald or shaved head, dressed in black from head to toe, on the opposite side of my street. He was walking the same direction as me. I didn’t think much of it until he suddenly dashed across the street and started walking behind me.
No big deal, I’m almost home, right? Regardless, I’ve got my home keys in my hands, just in case. I’m suddenly more on my guards because of his presence behind me.
What was he thinking?
I want to understand why an adult man walking down on the other side of the street parallel to me would suddenly decide to cross to my side. Somehow this decision just happened to coincide with me entering the shadows of the darkest section of the street. He didn’t make his way in front of me, but fell in behind me. Then he started whistling ominously as if to make sure I knew he was there.
Lucky for me my house was within sight so I quickened my step, as much as I could as the pain was getting worse with every step. I went inside as he continued on with that ominous whistle.
I don’t know if this man was trying to deliberately scare me or if it was just a clueless move. If you are on the other side of the street and must cross over, then do so in front of the woman and make it clear you don’t want to bother her. If you are walking in the dark, keep your distance or speed up and pass her so it doesn’t feel like you are trailing.
We just want to get home safely at night, and then once we’re home not encounter the statistically even bigger threat from men that’s posed to us there.