Feeling Safe

I started chatting with a woman at the dog park. I mentioned that her dog had a deep bark for such a sweet looking creature. She looked at me with knowing eyes and replied, “I’m a woman, living alone. I like that I have a dog who barks.”

She asked how often I come to the park. I told her that I couldn’t come during the week anymore because of the diminishing hours of daylight. I said, “Even though it’s dark by the time I get home from work, I take my dog on a short walk around the neighborhood.” As we watched our dogs play, we drifted into other topics of conversation and eventually went our separate ways with our tired puppies.

 As I reflected on our conversation, I recognized some reoccurring themes.

A woman is not safe by herself.

A woman must have a companion (animal or human) in order to be safe. 

“After dark” is the most unsafe time for a woman. 

I’m a woman who has never been abused, threatened or stalked and yet these themes ring true for me. Why? Because I’ve been internalizing each act of violence against a woman I’ve read about in a book or newspaper, heared about on the news or listened to in a song.

I can take all necessary precautions – doors locked and keys and cell phone constantly by my side – yet even on my most emotionally secure days, my physical safety feels threatened. Reminders of violence against women have been building in my psyche and now exist in my subconscious as a voice, whispering, “You are never safe.”

Are women actually & inherently vulnerable? Why should women feel they have to be with someone else or take a self-defense class in order to guarantee their safety?

Why can’t we feel safe and secure in our own right?

Photo credit iStockPhoto

About the Author

Ali Webster

Ali Webster is a Senior Staffing Coordinator and Social Media Lead. She has found a niche in the implementation, improvement and documentation of staffing processes. Ali drives the content and executes the steps of social recruiting strategy. When she isn’t reading other people’s blogs, she is blogging for her company on Recruitalicious or writing for her personal blog, Miss Early Bird. You can connect with Ali Twitter as @_AWeb.

8 Comments

Charlane Brady

I do feel safe for the most part in my own right and I believe we can feel safe in our own right. But not all of the time. Nothing last all the time.

I’ve traveled the world and many times alone….with deep journeys in Africa and Asia. Staying aware, following the local customs and keeping everything in balance has served me well – no matter where I am.

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Marlowe – I loved that film! — Kevin Costner and Gene Hackman in eighties film "No Way Out." I predict the tale of Petraeus' fall will be a juicy one, as well. And better yet, this story is nonfiction. What precipitated Broadwell's email threats to an unknown third party? She was motivated by jealousy, and the recipient of her threats was Anjelina Jolie. How many people have the kind of clout to launch an FBI investigation – over a percieved threat rec'd in an online catfight? Jolie would we one of the few.

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Ali Webster

Charlane & C Jones, I have to re-pose the final question in the post: Why can’t we feel safe and secure in our own right?

April, good words of wisdom, coming from a confident woman. Thanks!

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adowling

I dont have a problem going somewhere at night. I dont fear for my safety when I walk across a dark parking lot at night either. I am aware of my surroundings; I walk with my head held high, my shoulders back, and I’m looking around. If some idiot tries to sneak up on me he’s got another thing coming.

Women should not be afraid. Cautious yes, but not afraid. Living a life where you are constantly afraid of someone jumping out of a bush and attacking you is not a life. Be aware, be prepared to defend yourself, but hold that head high and walk with the confidence that makes it very apparent you are not one to mess with.

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C Jones

“Why should women feel they have to be with someone else or take a self-defense class in order to guarantee their safety?”

Because the truth is that nothing will guarantee your safety, but you’re better off if you can learn to defend and protect yourself to an extent. I would never think that a woman with a dog, or a woman who gets her deep-voiced brother to record her answering message, or a woman learning how to disable attackers is overreacting.

RAD classes are awesome, by the way.

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Charlane Brady

Great topic. These themes ring true for me too. I find it important to use these themes to help me stay aware & safe because we are vulnerable. My feelings of security vary and when I do not have these themes in balance, I know I need to take some time to relax. Oh, and I trust my gut reactions at home or out & about no matter what.

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