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To not want daughter going to a wood by herself?

(533 Posts)
Vellia Fri 26-Apr-19 00:18:14

Dd is 16. We live in a town with lots of countryside/footpaths at close proximity. About a 15 minute walk away from our house, you get to the edge of some farmers’ fields. If you walk down the side of one of these you find yourself in a lovely small wood. At the moment the bluebells are out and it’s absolutely magical.

Over Easter, dd and I have gone for a walk in this wood most mornings before she starts revising (I work in a school so have school holidays off). But in a few weeks’ time she’ll be off school on pre-GCSE study leave while I’ll be working.

She’s said in passing that she’s going to go for a walk in the woods at the start of each day to get herself in the right frame of mind for revision.

I feel rather uncomfortable about this as the wood is a significant distance away from the road & any houses. Definitely out of ear-shot. And the wood is never very busy - we rarely bump into more than one or two people, mostly dog walkers; often it’s entirely empty apart from us.

AIBU to think it would be unwise for dd to go walking there by herself? Would I be unreasonable to tell her she can’t?

Goldmandra Thu 02-May-19 19:11:17

People could massively reduce the number of times they cross a road but they don't because their perception of the risk, compared to walking in a wood is distorted.

16YOs cross roads for all sorts of reasons that are far less beneficial than a lovely relaxing walk in a wood to set them up for a day of effective revision. We don't tell them not to do it because our perception of the risk is distorted.

Fresta Thu 02-May-19 18:39:23

Of course it makes a difference- most can't avoid crossing roads, but you do it as carefully as you can- cars don't appear from nowhere, accidents happen when people don't see the dangers because they failed to look properly, stepped out without thinking, misjudged the distance etc. People can avoid walking alone in deserted woods! The two are not comparable!

Goldmandra Thu 02-May-19 18:15:51

The difference is that there is an element of control when crossing a road- it's up to you to cross safely. If you encounter someone who has intent to cause you harm you are no longer the one in control in control.

I honestly can't see how that makes the slightest bit of difference.

Gwenhwyfar Thu 02-May-19 18:13:19

"there is an element of control when crossing a road- it's up to you to cross safely."

Nothing you can do if a car appears out of nowhere at a very high speed having gone through a red light.
Accidents happen.

Fresta Thu 02-May-19 18:11:11

The difference is that there is an element of control when crossing a road- it's up to you to cross safely. If you encounter someone who has intent to cause you harm you are no longer the one in control in control.

Goldmandra Thu 02-May-19 17:45:26

My DDs have both spent time walking alone in local fields and wood and riding horses there.

I am quite sure that they were at greater risk of harm riding the horses, even when riding with friends, than they were when walking alone.

You have to take risks to have any sort of quality of life. The perception of the risk of walking in woods alone on this thread seems massively out of proportion. She will be at a lot more risk every time she crosses a road. We just don't hear much about 16YO girls being killed crossing roads because it's so common it isn't newsworthy.

EatenByDinosaurs Thu 02-May-19 17:03:32

Having a mobile phone with reception would help if the DD tripped or fell and did something like twist her ankle down a rabbit hole. She would be able to call for help.

Fresta Thu 02-May-19 16:47:58

Walking in woods alone can be avoided- having male family members generally can't be avoided.

Fresta Thu 02-May-19 16:47:02

There are bound to be more women killed in their homes than in 'bluebell woods' (as we like to call them on this thread- as if that makes them safer than any other type of wood), because there aren't 87, 000 women in the bluebell woods to kill. Doesn't mean 16 year old girls should wander in the woods without caution.

BlueSkiesLies Thu 02-May-19 15:28:13

So now there are five rapists and a mugger and a flasher all working together. Waiting in the bluebell woods for the 16 year old girl.

If you want to keep your daughters safe, the best thing they can do is never to have a sexual relationship with a man. Oh, also don't let your daughter come in to contact with any male family members either.

An average of 137 women across the world are killed by a partner or family member every day, according to new data released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

They say it makes "the home the most likely place for a woman to be killed".

More than half of the 87,000 women killed in 2017 were reported as dying at the hands of those closest to them.

Of that figure, approximately 30,000 women were killed by an intimate partner and another 20,000 by a relative.

nutellalove Thu 02-May-19 15:20:41

Unfortunately, even as an adult I'd probably not go for a walk in the woods alone. It's sad that I feel that way, many people do it without any problems but it's just not worth the risk for me as various things have happened to friends of mine that have made me wary.

musicposy Thu 02-May-19 15:08:41

I see PPs have already said what I was going to; borrow a neighbour's dog. It's possibly only a slight deterrent, but it is a bit of one and makes you look like you have a purpose and therefore less of a target. It also sends a message that you are probably on the radar of other dog walkers and therefore a less good target. My older teen/ young adult DDs walk all over with our dogs, usually pretty remote areas. It's never occurred to me to worry - the risk is tiny.

Fresta Thu 02-May-19 14:28:04

I don't why some people seem to think that assault doesn't happen in deserted places. Attackers can and do seek out such places for their attacks.The woodland in question is not in the wilds of Scotland or the depths of of the countryside- it's clearly in close proximity to the OP's house which I presume is in an urban area or village- woodlands like this will have quite a few people passing through at various times. Rapists, flashers etc. don't just hang around dark alleys at night! Most are opportunists I would think!

SoupDragon Thu 02-May-19 14:01:52

Oh my

LimeKiwi Thu 02-May-19 13:24:06

And lions and tigers and bears

HulksPurplePanties Thu 02-May-19 11:21:14

Why in the world would a rapist/mugger/flasher be hanging around a deserted woods waiting for a random girl to come by?

Worst criminal ever.

SurfnTerfFantasticmissfoxy Thu 02-May-19 11:17:09

She's 16 FFS not 6 - unless you live in an area that is spectacularly unsafe I would have thought going for a county stroll was one of the least risky things she'll do in her life. There's far more chance of her being injured or killed as a passenger in a car for example. I think you're being irrational and over protective.

BusterTheBulldog Thu 02-May-19 11:05:15

All waiting in the woods together?!

Dana28 Thu 02-May-19 10:50:14

It's not just rapists there are flashers and muggers

Sunnyday1468 Thu 02-May-19 07:58:09

Fresta- that’s what I thought There wouldn’t be time to phone anyone

Fresta Wed 01-May-19 17:49:04

How would having a mobile phone protect you from a rapist?

EatenByDinosaurs Wed 01-May-19 12:37:51

And yes, it's the routine aspect which would bother me, not the walking in the woods so long as there was mobile phone reception and she was aware of her surroundings.

EatenByDinosaurs Wed 01-May-19 12:35:52

All the posters insisting that they could fend of rapists because they know self defense/martial arts, are you really that naïve?
Do you honestly think physical force is the only means a rapist has at their disposal to control you?

I have done martial arts since I was tiny, and something which was repeatedly drummed in was never, ever to just assume you can successfully fight anyone off, and never overestimate you abilities. Being over confident makes you careless.

I've competed at an international level in my martial art, but its been bitterly proven to me that I can't always defend myself.

Even if you can fight of one rapist, what about if there were two, or three, or five?

I also completely disagree with ignoring your gut, your gut of often your brain picking up and piecing together tiny pieces of a puzzle that your conscious mind doesn't. Gut instinct has developed over thousands of years of evolution to keep us safe. So using brain and gut is probably safest. Besides, if your gut is screaming at you not to walk through a particular stretch of woods, why would you? Surely you're not going to enjoy it much that time anyway as you'll feel on edge.

Luckystar777 Wed 01-May-19 11:27:24

Oh dear.

She wants to go to the same secluded area alone at around the same time each day?


I would worry very much. You do not know who might be watching and what could happen to her.

BooseysMom Tue 30-Apr-19 19:03:51

But a walk home alone at night, even in my safer area, hmmm probably not. I think it’s a privilege that men don’t even have to weigh these things up

It is certainly unfair on women that they receive so much abuse but someone upthread mentioned it's statistically more likely that you'll get attacked if you're a man.. so then surely it's just as dangerous for men to risk walking in woods alone. It truly feels that nowhere and no one is safe any more but you have to weigh up the risks and 'arm' yourself appropriately.

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