As more and more women choose to explore the world and live their lives on their own terms, a major concern for them is safety. Today an increasing number of women are living by themselves. They may be students or working women or there may be many other reasons for the same.In the more technologically advanced world of today, there are many apps and special features on phones that promise to increase your safety. But does that mean that you are doomed if you don’t have those high fangled smart phones which allow the use of such technology? Not at all.Some common sense and a little alertness works just as well.
I moved out of my parent’s house almost 15 years back to move into a hostel to finish my studies. After that I lived by myself in many cities in India and abroad, moving from project to project. I have lived alone in a rented apartment, office guest houses and hotels. Even after getting married there were stretches when I was living by myself for a few days while my husband travelled on work. So a lot of these tips I have for all you women out there are from my own experiences and also from those of my friends and family. The basics of personal safety remain pretty much the same across various situations and age groups.
- Don’t over share – I know a difficult proposition today with most people being fairly active on the various social media platforms available. But seriously all the 200+ friends of yours on Facebook needn’t be aware of your every move and be able to map every exact millisecond of your day’s activities. Even in the non-virtual world don’t share too much personal information with random strangers or even with acquaintances who frankly speaking, have no business knowing!
- Be prepared – When leaving the house, make sure your phone is fully charged and you have sufficient but not too much cash on you. Get your car serviced regularly and always keep an eye on the petrol and oil indicators. I think we have all seen too many movies and serials where a lot of trouble starts with getting stranded because of an empty tank, to not let our imagination run free! So be organised.
- Be alert – You don’t have to look over your shoulder every second of your life…you’d go a bit crazy that way. But always be alert. At home always use the peephole or the chain to see who it is before letting them in. While taking public transport especially autos and taxis, get a good look at the driver. Sometimes when I am travelling by myself or with the kid(s), I take a picture of the driver and the cab information that is displayed and either leave it on my phone or send it to someone.
- Lastly – Be brave not foolish – I know there are days when you say, “I am not to going to cower down to the anti-social elements and the world in general and will do things exactly when and how I feel like!” But try and avoid unlit and lonely roads if you can. Usually there is more safety in numbers and crowds, but not always, so use your judgement.
But if despite all the precautions that you are taking, if a situation or person(s) makes you uncomfortable, walk away from that place immediately. It may sound a bit dramatic or being paranoid to some of you, but everyone especially women subconsciously pick up a lot of information and clues that allow them to judge various situations. You may not be able to exactly put your finger on what is bothering you, but always pay attention to your gut instinct. You are not being a coward, or running away from things. You are simply ensuring your safety. There is nothing more precious than your wellbeing and life.
If you have any anecdotes or safety tips,please share below.
About the Author
Ashima Kumar is currently a stay at home mom to 2 active boys. In her earlier almost forgotten avatar she was a corporate banker making use of her MBA degree!! She is a bit of a nomad and has lived in many cities and states across India thanks to her dad’s work at first, then her own and now her husband’s. She has managed to pitch her tent in Bangalore for the last few years though. Ashima loves good food and a good read though not necessarily in the same order all the time.