Am i supposed to be afraid?

(70 Posts)
Bikermum82 Mon 17-Oct-16 20:27:48

Ive been reading alot of posts on here and theres alot of things about how women feel unsafe walking at night or when out alone.

Ive never personally felt this as i often go for walks late at night or early morning on my own and its never crossed my mind its a bad thing to do. Am i just being niave?

lifeissweet Mon 17-Oct-16 20:31:22

I would say no - and lucky you for not feeling that way.

Actually, if you read a lot of posts on the sexual assault thread, walking alone at night is not a common situation for an attack. It seems to happen in broad daylight, in public and in people's own homes (depressingly) far more than being out in the dark.

Having said that, I was mugged at knifepoint while walking home in the dark - a man jumped out from a dark doorway and put a knife to my throat, so I am no enamoured with being alone in the dark, personally.

But I don't think you are any more at risk in the dark than not and you are lucky to feel the way you do.

MyBreadIsEggy Mon 17-Oct-16 20:36:14

This isnt going to be a popular opinion on this board.....but I think it all comes down to taking responsibility for your own safety. I completely believe that you should be able to walk where you want, when you want, in the dark, alone and not have to worry about your safety, but the reality of it is there are people out there who will see a person alone in the dark as a target. No matter how much people try to say "well maybe men should learn not to rape" or things of that nature, the truth is rapists/murderers/theives etc will always exist. There is no way of stopping it. Therefore, it's down to you to protect yourself against such people as well as you possibly can - and if that means being a bit more cautious about where I go by myself, then that's a small price to pay IMO to avoid being raped/murdered/mugged or whatever.

Bikermum82 Mon 17-Oct-16 20:43:56

Maybe its down to where i live as its more country than anything also when i do go out it tends to be with my hoody up. Maybe i am a bit it will never happen to me who knows. Just made me think really.

PoldarksBreeches Mon 17-Oct-16 20:46:04

I could walk around my area at night and be perfectly safe. The same wouldn't apply if I lived in a city. Surely that is basic common sense?

Queenbean Mon 17-Oct-16 20:46:15

I feel mostly safe. I live in a slightly dodgy bit of London and I make sure I'm never out on the streets alone at witching hour, never have my headphones in after dark etc etc

But saying that, I have lived in London for over ten years in various dodgy bits and have always felt and been fine. I was really saddened to read the sexual assault thread too as I have, touch wood, never received that either.

So I'm very lucky and also take precautions for my own safety (relating to first point)

MyBreadIsEggy Mon 17-Oct-16 20:56:17

To be fair, I feel safe in my teeny weeny little village, and wouldn't hesitate to walk to the shop or whatever after dark. But my local town is a whole different kettle of fish. Just this week we've had two police reports of children being chased by fucking sad acts dressed as clowns, one carrying a machete, the other an axe hmm

AnyFucker Mon 17-Oct-16 21:02:07

Since most sexual assaults are perpetrated by men we know, you are not incorrect

It is probably safer to walk alone at night than it is to live with, work with, be related to or to socialise with men

RedMapleLeaf Mon 17-Oct-16 21:02:27

This isnt going to be a popular opinion on this board.....but I think it all comes down to taking responsibility for your own safety

That's fine, people should mitigate risks if they can, but that's a separate issue to believing that they are responsible for the actions of others. E.g. perhaps a young man is less likely to be the victim of an attack if he's sober walking home in the dark. However, if the same man comes across a gang determined to beat someone up that night then there's very little he can do about it, no matter what he's wearing or how much he's had to drink (other than just stay at home and never go out drinking with his mates / to a bible study class / to football practice etc).

BonjourMinou Mon 17-Oct-16 21:03:32

The clowns are chasing children? That's awful, I saw film of one chasing adults with a chainsaw and it looked terrifying.

Personally I am very wary going out of an evening, but it was drilled into me as a child to be afraid of men especially at dark and in alleyways etc. I'm dreading having to have a similar conversation with my own children.

AnyFucker Mon 17-Oct-16 21:05:16

You need to advise them to more afraid of the men they know, Bonjour

MyBreadIsEggy Mon 17-Oct-16 21:05:45

Bonjour yeah confused the other night, two teenage girls were chased by a person in a clown suit carrying a machete. As the person was reported as carrying a deadly weapon, the police got the dogs out looking for him/her in local woodland confused

AVirginLitTheCandle Mon 17-Oct-16 21:22:32

When I was raped I was in a relatives house and my family were there. The man who raped me was a family friend who I had known for years. I could even hear my family laugh and joke downstairs whilst he was on top of me and forcing himself on me.

That's why I struggle with the whole "taking responsibility for your own safety" thing. Of course getting blind drunk is not a good idea. Walking alone in dodgy areas at night is not a good idea. Nobody will argue with you there. However those things apply to men too not just women.

I'm at a loss as to what I could have done to have been more responsible for my safety tbh. It was broad daylight, I hadn't been drinking, I was with family and a family friend in a family members house. You can't really get any safer can you? Yet I was still raped.

AVirginLitTheCandle Mon 17-Oct-16 21:31:45

As for walking alone at night and whether you "should" be afraid; I think it depends tbh.

I grew up in quite an affluent area with a very low crime rate. I wouldn't think twice about walking alone at any time of day there and ime neither did many other people.

The town I live in now also has a very low crime rate and again I have no problem being out alone no matter what time of day it is. It's also an area with lots of students so there's always people around. I have been for walks at various times of the night to clear my head and not been afraid or felt like I shouldn't be doing it.

Idk...I just feel like if I can be attacked in a relatives house with my family on the floor beneath me then there's no point being scared about what might or might not happen if I dare to be out alone after a certain time...

Lorelei76 Mon 17-Oct-16 21:44:51

I live in a not great London suburb but it's so busy all the time, I'd feel more safe walking home at 11pm here than I would in a quiet place.

Someone once told me that as a single woman I was at very low risk of attack, it confused me till she pointed out the majority of crimes - is it 80-90%? - of attacks against women are by partners or other male family members.

I carry an alarm thingy. At the central London end of my journey I don't worry at all, you have to shout at the odd lairy drunk though.

Anyway, if I lived in a lovely peaceful country place I'd be more concerned, I wouldn't go for a walk late if it was really isolated. Shame that but it's reality so if I ever live in such a place there will be no late pottering outside!

debbriana Mon 17-Oct-16 21:50:21

Nighttime is not the problem. The people you know are. I know three people who were raped. It all took place with people they knew and trusted they all happened in the house. One by family friend, the second one by her step father and the third one by a friend who wanted more but was rejected.

One advice about walking in the night. Follow paths which are lit. Know your surround when walking.

When I lived in London I felt safer walking around past midnight in the than I do in my local village at 8pm.

Fantome Mon 17-Oct-16 21:55:56

I'm stunned at the post suggesting women should take steps to avoid being raped. In the past month alone I've read of sexual assaults and rapes taking place in broad daylight, most notably the girl in Oxford just walking to school down a main road in rush hour. The idea we can or should avoid something men choose to do to us is disgusting.

On the topic of this thread, I think it's great if you don't feel afraid. I wish no women or girls did. Unfortunately I can't imagine I'm ever going to feel totally safe walking around and certainly not at night.

MostlyHet Mon 17-Oct-16 22:07:09

I used to live in a very dodgy bit of inner city Leeds and walk around late at night. I worried about muggings and violence more than sexual assault, tbh. All my close calls with men pushing boundaries and working up towards what could (barring dumb luck on my part) have escalated were with men I knew as acquaintances - the sort who offered to walk you home from the pub to "keep you safe", then came onto you in your kitchen afterwards (on one memorable occasion, a friend's boyfriend admitted to sustained DV against her, then said he wanted me to be his next girlfriend!) Not surprisingly I came to the conclusion that walking home alone was actually safer.

0phelia Mon 17-Oct-16 22:07:56

I have learned unofficial self-defense so I feel safe walking the street at night (unless I am chased by a man dressed as a clown, holding a machete, which is highly unlikely,) I know how to hold my door keys in a specific way and how use them to render someone unconscious if I need to.

PP have said, you are far more likely to be assaulted or raped by a man you know, a family member or "friend" or someone you work with, than some stranger in the dark. This brutal truth is also my experience.

OP I'd advise learn self defense to boost your confidence.

Terrifiedandregretful Mon 17-Oct-16 22:13:38

I've never felt afraid walking alone at night. Others have felt afraid on my behalf and tried to stop me going in late night walks which mightily pissed me off. I think its all part of policing women's behaviour and suggesting if you do X y and z you can prevent rape. I also know that I'm much more at risk from people known to me than random strangers. Eg I'd never let a man walk me home after an early date; I'd feel much safer on my own.

scallopsrgreat Mon 17-Oct-16 22:14:10

Not sure what the point of this post is.

You don't feel afraid. Some women do. Why would you equate that with you should feel afraid? It's like setting up one persons feelings on a situation up against another's. Both feelings are valid or do you not think that?

Marbleheadjohnson Mon 17-Oct-16 22:14:17

I don't feel very afraid. I used to, but now I don't unless something happens to make me feel scared. I understand why people do though.

I live in London and will walk a ten minute walk down a surburban road at 1am and feel ok about it, I figured that statistically it's less dangerous than it thinks and feels. I read a book about it which helped me iron out my thoughts. I can't remember exactly what it said about personal safety, but there was another section which was talking about aviation security, and there was a tale about a pilot who, exasperated at all the security hoops he was having to jump through said "why are you bothering with this? If I wanted to do any damage I would just crash the plane". That's the same kind of thing in my book - being raped is, more often than not by a country mile, out of your hands.

I have been raped at various points in my life. Always in my own bed, always by someone I knew. I kind of feel like "well the only worst thing that could happen now is being murdered so...", which is a bit of a gung-ho/stupid approach but it's how I feel these days. So yes, personal safety is very important and you should be vigilant, but there is no point in stopping living your life if avoiding rape is your aim. Not getting drunk and not walking alone at night is statistically unlikely to make much of a dent in your chances of being raped or murdered.

I'd actually feel much less safe walking alone in a more rural place - more isolated, less chance of getting help, more cars driving fast through unlit roads, cows....

Lorelei76 Mon 17-Oct-16 22:18:26

Ophelia when you say unofficial, I'm curious, you mean an informal course or something?

AnyFucker Mon 17-Oct-16 22:19:22

Cows ? Now they really are evil bastards....

Lorelei76 Mon 17-Oct-16 22:23:21

AF, I was on a country walk with a friend, just thinking it was time we headed back to the station when she said "I think we need to go, the cows are looking at us funny". I was so busy holding my sides with laughter, I never got her to expand on that! grin

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