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to think that grown women should not to too scared to walk home alone after dark?

(138 Posts)
nicepasta Wed 11-Nov-09 10:43:40

I live in a small town.

When we go out or to meetings, none of my friends ever walk home alone. It really annoys me. They say it is too dangerous. They spend ages working out who is giving lifts to who - and these people all live within half a mile of wherever we are going.

Our town is no more dangerous than any others. They all seem to be convinced that there is a really high risk of being attacked. They always tell me that I shouldn't walk home by myself. I think it is utter nonsense.

AIBU?

Ripeberry Wed 11-Nov-09 10:46:56

I think you are YABU. It's not the fact that they are going to be attacked, it's just that most people would rather not come accross gangs of bored youths in the evening.
I would not go down the shop after 7pm at night as youths are always hanging around trying to get you to buy them some smokes or some drink.
If you refuse they call you really bad names and catcall all the way down the street.
Even small villages have their 'gang' sad

AMumInScotland Wed 11-Nov-09 10:47:02

YANBU - there are places I'd avoid walking - like past pubs at closing time, or dark alleys, but if you're walking in well-lit areas in an ordinary town, then it's not "too dangerous". It would probably be easy to show that the risk of being injured in a car accident on the same journey was higher...

Nancy66 Wed 11-Nov-09 10:48:03

Yes YABU - you can walk home alone at night if you're happy to but don't judge others for being nervous. Maybe they've been victims of crime or know people that have.

If something did happen (unlikely though it may be) most people are going to say: 'well she was walking home alone at 2am, what did she expect.'

always better to err on the side of caution isn't it?

WhatDidISayRoy Wed 11-Nov-09 10:48:50

YABU - i would not walk anywhere alone at night in the dark. And i live in a very quiet village.

RealityBites Wed 11-Nov-09 10:49:05

Message withdrawn

Ripeberry Wed 11-Nov-09 10:51:12

I've also had to do evening work as a home carer for the elderly in the past and whilst the job was enjoyable, the main stress was trying to avoid the different groups of bored youth, the car vandals and wondering what I would find when I went into customers homes (have they collapsed, had a misshap in the bathroom?)
I would carry some Farb spray with me just in case as if I had got attacked I wanted to make sure they would not get away with it.
Thankfully I never had to use it.

Tee2072 Wed 11-Nov-09 10:51:56

I've walked home alone through the worst parts of Belfast while drunk even. And have never been attacked, asked to buy booze or anything like that.

The world is not as scary as the news would like you to believe. Try to remember that.

belgo Wed 11-Nov-09 10:52:49

Maybe there are few attacks on lone women after dark because very few women walk home alone after dark?

I hate walking alone in the dark. It is scary. The risk of rape/murder are probably very low, but the risk of having a bag/purse/mobile phone snatched is probably higher if you are a lone female at night time.

If people can arrange to give each other lifts, then why would you find this a problem?

edam Wed 11-Nov-09 10:53:12

I don't think you can impose your personal view of risk assessment on anyone else. Have no idea what your town is like but mine's very safe and I do walk home alone - but my street is literally two minutes from the high street.

Lived in London for 20 years, happily walked home on my own, worst that ever happened was that some nutter spat at me. Unpleasant but not the end of the world.

Last time I was stumbling home alone here, was a tad merry and my shoes were killing me. I stopped to take them off but then there were pine needles all over the pavement, so stopped to put them back in again. May have wobbled a tiny bit as there were no walls to hang on to. blush

Hadn't noticed a man on the other side of the road, a few yards ahead of me. But he stopped and called out to see I was OK. Bless him! I love living somewhere where people look out for each other.

Chickenshavenolips Wed 11-Nov-09 10:54:13

YABU. I have walked home at night, but I would rather not. Same as I'd rather my DH didn't. We have troublesome 'youths' around these parts.

ln1981 Wed 11-Nov-09 10:56:47

i guess its a sign of the times isnt it?
RealityBites is right-its perception, if you dont feel safe you wouldnt do it.
Whilst it doesnt bother me in the slightest walking anywhere after dark, not everyone is like that. I used to work in a club and quite often walked the 2miles to my partners house at 3am-never had any hassle but then maybe i was lucky (some of it was well lit ans sone of it wasnt). My dp's sisiter on the other hand got chased back to her flat by two guys after a night out and she lived a 10 minute walk from the pub she had been in.

badietbuddy Wed 11-Nov-09 10:56:58

YABU. I live in what I would consider a safe city but it only takes one incident to scare you this happened a few years ago in my city and it's enough to stop me going anywhere after dark.

SolidGoldBangers Wed 11-Nov-09 10:57:47

YANBU. It is nocially negative behaviour (ie it has poor consequences for other people) for adult NT women with no mobilitiy issues to be such pathetic ickle flowers. Because it reinforces the idea that women are ever so fwagile and can't go out of the house without Big Stwong Men to look after them, and that women who go out alone are dubious and deserve anything bad that happens to them.
Basically, if you are not very big and not very confident, sign yourself up for a good self-defence/martial arts class. Which will keep you fit as well as teaching you how to fight off all but the most determined axe-wielding maniac (and please bear in mind that having Hubby or Daddy with you won't actually stop a speeding bullet - but most street attacks are utterly opportunisitc and the attackers are pretty easy to see off with minimum resistance) - but most importatnly of all will get it into your head that you can look after yourself and you can assess sitations sensibly, etc.

Bramshott Wed 11-Nov-09 10:58:41

YANBU - this drives me mad as well!! Fair enough if they don't want to walk, but with the group of people I know, they expend loads of energy telling me that it's not safe for me to walk and organising people to give me lifts when I am quite happy to walk alone!!

Maybe if more "ordinary" people of all genders and ages were happy to walk in the dark, the streets wouldn't be populated only by bored teenagers?!?

Bramshott Wed 11-Nov-09 11:02:48

Yes, bad things do happen occasionally, but car accidents happen every day of the week and it doesn't stop us going in cars. It's actually incredibly dangerous to be driving around in a car at 11.30pm - surely that's when most accidents happen?

StayFrosty Wed 11-Nov-09 11:05:15

when i was 19 i was attacked and raped by a stranger in the next street to where I lived while walking home alone, this was in a quiet residential, naice area.

Yes this sort of thing is EXTREMELY rare, but it does happen.

Sometimes I feel ok to walk home alone on an evening, sometimes I don't. Would hate to think other women were judging me or thinking i was being a pwecious ickle fwower or holding back the cause of feminism for it. or something. sad

StayFrosty Wed 11-Nov-09 11:09:13

..this is how rape culture works to oppress woemn, btw, rape affects those it happens to and those it doesn't because the fear of rape is also a weapon. Don't blame the victims, blame the patriarchy.

OrmIrian Wed 11-Nov-09 11:09:21

I go running along three times a week. In the winter at least 2 of those are in the dark. I have never felt in the slightest bit threatened. No adults should feel afraid to be independent. Yes it's about perception but if people are too scared to go anywhere alone they need their perceptions challenging. IMO.

Aren't the risks of attack greater for young men than for women?

OrmIrian Wed 11-Nov-09 11:10:37

But frosty - most women haven't been attacked. So they have no personal reason to feel that way.

Mishy1234 Wed 11-Nov-09 11:11:59

I think YABU. Why take risks if you don't have to? I ALWAYS make sure my female friends are safe and would never let them (never alone criticise them for) walk home alone in the dark.

Yes, awful things can and do happen (I remember a few years ago a teenager being raped and murdered right outside her own house) and sometimes no matter how careful you are they can't be avoided. However, I firmly believe in making the risk as low as it can possibly be and that includes not walking home alone in the dark.

belgo Wed 11-Nov-09 11:13:51

'but most street attacks are utterly opportunisitc'

Exactly, opportunistic, and a lone woman in a quiet area at night probably provides more opportunity then women together.

'and the attackers are pretty easy to see off with minimum resistance'

I don't particularly want to test that theory thank you.

I know use my bike at night.

StayFrosty Wed 11-Nov-09 11:14:32

they haven't i agree - but don't you remember that excellent thread a while back satirising all those 'how not to get raped' email circulars that float about? women are conditioned to fear rape and to place the blame on their own actions if/when it does happen. fair play to those who are able to resist this conditioning, but i'm not about to diss those who can't as pathetic.

Bramshott Wed 11-Nov-09 11:15:02

Of course, StayFrosty, if you've had an awful experience you have very good grounds to feel hesitant about being out after dark alone, just as someone who's been in a car crash might be hesitant about getting in a car again, or someone who was caught up in 7/7 might be hesitant about using the tube sad.

However, for most of us, that's not the case, and the more people who stay of the streets because of this skewed perception of risk, the less safe it is for those people who are out walking at night.

mrsbean78 Wed 11-Nov-09 11:16:19

The question here relates to 'after dark'. At the moment 'after dark' relates to any time after 5ish. In this case, YANBU.

In my workplace, there is sometimes terrible kerfuffle about the 'dangers' of walking alone to the carpark after the office closes. We are a female team. Nothing has ever happened to any of my colleagues on the job. Recently, an email was sent round by a colleague to warn of a 'risk' she had noted.. a man had knocked on her car window and asked her to move her car up as he had dropped his keys under her car. The email focused on how she was relieved she had been 'sensible' and not rolled down her window to talk to him. However.. when she moved the car up, he had actually dropped his keys under her car and he waved and walked away!! Where was the risk? The fact that he was a man? He bore no ill-intention to her whatsoever!

I am a public transport user and have had to walk around 'in the dark' after work for many years. A great deal of this walking has taken part in deprived urban areas in the Northwest. To date (touch wood), although I have had moments where I have been scared, e.g. if I see a gang of youths with dogs, I have never experienced anything untoward.

There are unnecessary risks which I would always choose to avoid - for example, walking later at night, when under the influence of alcohol, walking under an underpass or up an alleyway/ginnel, walking across a dark park or close to any opening that someone could easily jump from. You can be very sensible in how you conduct yourself after dark.. but choosing to never walk out alone after 5pm in the long winter months supposes a) the world is terribly dangerous and b) that women should experience substantially less freedom than men because of the risks of predators, sexual and otherwise. For that reason, I don't think it's reasonable to suggest women should only travel by car after dark.

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