Thursday, November 08, 2007

Safety Last

Late one night last week, I was walking home from being out - it was around 12:30 AM or so.

I tend to be pretty aware of my surroundings at night. For years I merely accepted the fact that I am a big man, so my personal safety seemed somewhat assured. But in these days where the economy is tougher and you never know who's packing a glock, I think it's better to err on the side of caution and be aware of what's around me - especially later at night when foot traffic is more sparse.

Anyway, on my walk home, I ended up passing two different women, both walking with earphones in. And I became so distracted by them I almost couldn't think of anything else. How could any woman, walking alone on a dimly lit street after midnight, think she is in complete safety given the fact that she is blocking out all the sounds around her?

When the sun goes down, the earphones should be put away. Sure, music helps make time pass more quickly, but only in situations where you may want to dim out the crowd. At 12:30 AM, there is no crowd -- there's barely a group. And even if the volume is on low, an attacker can be pretty stealthy before he's on you.

Several weeks ago, a man was traveling through my Lakeview neighborhood assaulting women, possibly women who were walking at night listening to their iPods with earphones. I hope that's not the case, and I hope women take more responsibility for their safety.

1 comment:

  1. I was walking home from work quite late several years ago, when a few blocks from home a woman called out, "Thank you, sir."

    I hadn't seen anyone on the street so I turned around. About 15 yards away, a woman had turned onto her side street and waved at me.

    She said, "You didn't know it, but you walked me home, and made me feel safe. Thank you!"

    I fumbled a reply, and went on home, happy that I had helped someone get home safely, even if I didn't know I was actively doing so.

    Later, I read that there had been several muggings in the park we had to walk through, to get from the business district to the residential area of Boston.

    I'm glad I was able to help her feel safer on her way home.

    - Dave