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Take small steps for safety in our own neighborhoods

Karolle Rabarison

When
June 12, 2014at 10:00 pm

As media continue to flood us with negative news on gender in India, many still identify Mumbai as the exception—the one Indian city that is "pretty safe."

Badal ja! took to the streets to find out how Mumbaikars really feel about safety in the city. See what they had to say, then share your own small steps for safety.

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7 others are in

  • Karol Rutger
  • slawko sliwka
  • Naya Peng
  • Jelena Woehr
  • Terri Hammer
  • Esha Shah

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  • Terri Hammer

    I agree with your take on it, Jelena. Safety is more about awareness and being prepared than avoidance.

    When I was a little girl, my great-grandmother (yes, I was fortunate enough to have not one, but two of them) used to tell me, not fairy tales, but safety stories about all kinds of potentially dangerous scenarios that kids might find themselves in. Isn't that great? And I loved them! Also, my dad was a detective so I just grew up with a danger awareness mentality and really nothing "bad" ever happened ... until I was in my early 30's, and in about a 3 to 5 year time span I was either targeted or witnessed several crimes. Like, I was held at knife point in an attempted robbery of my bookstore, then another time in a parking lot, 4 men with a gun attempted to rob me and my friend, and those are just some of the highlights.
    The point is, like most things in life, being aware and just a basic preparedness can really come in handy, like saving your life or someone else's, when those dangerous situations just pop up out of no where, and that's usually how they occur.

    When I worked with school-aged kids, I was surprised by how many of my students had no clue about safety issues beyond the fire drill at school. I incorporated safety stories, just like my great- grandma had done with me, and the students regardless of age, loved them just like I did! Never would I have so intensely everyone's attention as when we talked and shared about safety. You could tell they really appreciated it.
    It's good to feel safe in the world and that's something not to be taken for granted.

  • Jelena Woehr

    Safety for me is USING public spaces in my neighborhood. Most people are not dangerous, so the more people the less danger. I let friends know where I walk and I walk with my dog, but I don't get scared away from parks by danger -- recently there were two assaults in Griffith Park, where I often hike, and I made a point of walking there MORE often, albeit avoiding areas where I know there's no cell signal. When previously safe places become unsafe, it seems to me it's often because people who are there to peaceably enjoy the public space have been frightened away and it is so much harder to lure them back to a space now deserted and unsafe than to keep them from leaving in the first place.

    I always feel miffed when the obligatory police officer interview after a crime in a public space includes a lot of tips on "staying safe" by staying away from the park/area or only going there in pairs. The more public spaces are USED by the public, the better!

      • Jelena Woehr

        "We’ve all come across groups of guys just chilling at the corner, on their bikes, outside a restaurant. They take up space as if it’s their right (Guys, don’t be defensive – I envy you!), while we women try to move through space without attracting too much attention, lest 'something' happen.

        It’s so easy and understandable that as women, we’d pull back and find comfortable spaces to occupy. We hang out at people’s houses, or we go to the local coffee shop or a movie or a mall. But what if instead of retreating to private spaces, we decided to lay claim to public spaces?"

        Love this!

        • Lydia Carmany

          This is so true and close to home for me. The first step I want to take is to befriend more women! We really need to stick together.