Safety is Slipping away

Senior+Bethany+Rush+has+pepper+spray+on+her+keys%2C+for+self+defense.

Senior Bethany Rush has pepper spray on her keys, for self defense.

Abi Loughrey, Staff Writer

Do you feel safe at Rocky?

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Everyone knows the feeling: it’s late at night and you’re walking to your car in a darkened parking lot, and you can’t help but feel anxious, maybe a shadow walking a ways back makes you feel uneasy, or distant noises make your heart beat faster? People everywhere, specifically women, including Rocky students, develop convenient ways to defend themselves and possibly to ease their nerves.

Historically, women have more vulnerability and are more aware of their safety. Men don’t always think about it. In today’s culture, the constant onslaught of information and widely publicized stories of tragedy and victimization, it can be easy for young women to become hyper-aware and somewhat fixated on the possibility that they could be next.

Senior Caroline Morris feels safer when she has her self defense keychain in hand. The gadget, like hundreds of others on the market right now, is conveniently sized and designed to not look out of place on a lanyard amongst other keychains. “I like it because it makes me feel more powerful and safe in a way, I’m not like trying to just hit someone but I feel like if something were to happen I could defend myself.”

Jennifer Mitchell recalled a time where she felt scared. She said, “I was walking home at 6 o’clock and two cars pulled up, one in front of me, one behind me. They rolled their windows down and asked to give me a ride. I said no and then they followed me all the way home, so now I’m always a little scared.” When I asked Jenn if she had any strategies to make her feel more safe, she said she has a pepper spray keychain.

A Reuters poll asked 550 experts in women’s issues which countries were safest for women. “The United States came 10th overall, but ranked joint third with Syria when respondents were asked where women most risked sexual violence, harassment and coercion into sex, and sixth regarding non-sexual violence such as domestic and mental abuse.” So it’s not like women are feeling unreasonably worried.

Some ways that women can feel safer can be found at nonprofit.com. They suggest that women should always tell a trusted person their plans, and avoid areas where they feel unsafe. Interestingly, the article also said “women are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It could get you raped or killed.”