There are things that women – and men – can do to stay safe in New York. The Village Voice recently published a list of safety tips in the wake of the rape of a female tourist in her Bronx hotel room. They bear repeating:
Go with your gut. If a situation doesn’t feel safe, it probably isn’t. Don’t be afraid to get up and leave. Your subconscious is probably better able to sense danger than you think.
Know how you’re going to leave if things go wrong and position yourself accordingly. Don’t sit on the inside seats of buses or subways. Sit near the door or close to the driver if you can. And if something happens, scream and run. Your chances are better than if you did nothing, even when you are accosted by someone with a knife or gun. Wear shoes you can run in.
Don’t hesitate to fight. Kick, scratch and bite. Go for the crotch and eyes.
Don’t feel you have to be polite. You don’t have to talk with strangers. You can ignore them or tell them to go away – it’s OK. In fact, you probably should.
Be smart. Pretend you know where you’re going, even if you don’t. Avoid waiting for the bus or subway alone. Choose the more populated subway car, even if you have to stand. Don’t take a shortcut through an alley at night. Make friends at the corner store or bodega, and go there if you think someone is following you. If a car is following you, walk in the other direction.
Source: Village Voice, “How To Stay Safe in New York City: Tips for Women,” By Victoria Bekiempis, Jul. 13 2012.