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Dark and full of terrors: women working late and staying safe

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When women are told that the night is always dark and full of terrors, it isn’t just regarding the fictional fantasy world of A Song of Ice and Fire. In fact, this is an everyday reality for women everywhere. Although we’ve gone far from needing a chaperone, we’re constantly warned to be careful outside, especially when it’s dark and we’ve been working late.

This is especially frustrating in the world of work. There are enough problems to worry about within the workplace already, and this just adds to the pile of problems we already have. My main complaint about working late should be that I might miss the latest episode of Scandal.

Stay informed and be knowledgeable

Unfortunately, the majority of women have to contend with much deadlier threats at night, necessitating them to take certain measures to protect themselves. This situation needs to change. Nevertheless, while I’m waiting, there are certain methods that I use to feel safer outside after working late.

Much like Little Red Riding Hood, it’s best to stick to the path – preferably a well-lit one. It’s best to know where you’re headed in advance as well. Knowing your surroundings means that you can walk confidently and purposefully, enabling you to handle difficult situations calmly and logically, rather than creating a blind panic.

Technology can help you

While it’s important not to be distracted by them, mobile phones are indispensable for self-security. Some may argue that it attracts muggers, but if you keep your phone charged and up-to-date with useful numbers, phones can help you out of a sticky situation. Additionally, have some emergency cash stored separately in case your bag is stolen. This means you won’t be completely helpless in the event of a late-night mugging.

Additionally, if visiting a friend after working late, it’s good to keep them informed of your whereabouts. In fact, there are even special apps that can do this, like Companion or SafeTrack that will notify the police if you stop pressing the screen, only registering that you’re safe when you enter a PIN.

Use friends to stay safe

However, the easiest method to feel more secure on the streets is to find a work buddy to walk home with. As well as looking out for you, it can also makes a boring commute much more fun. At the very least, try to establish a bond with some familiar faces on frequent routes, even if it’s only an amiable nod of recognition. This can help make working late itself more companiable.

It’s important to remember that not all men are wolves and not all women are Little Red Riding Hood. Nevertheless, sometimes women need to save themselves rather than wait for the woodcutter. And while it’s always best to be prepared, it’s equally important not to let it get in the way of living your life.

Got any other ideas on how to stay safe on the streets after dark? Comment below with your tips.

Photo: Thomas Hawk / Flickr

Daljinder JohalDark and full of terrors: women working late and staying safe

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