In the wake of Inauguration Day and all the various protests, vigils, and the general dissent happening around campus, it’s become more important than ever for girls to be able to defend themselves. Times are going to be tough for the next few years as our president-elect takes office, and knowing even the slightest bit of defense could potentially save someone’s life.
1. Don’t walk around at night by yourself! This might be the most obvious, but it’s still worth mentioning — if you’re really craving that post-midnight gyro from the Ave, it’s worth waiting until morning or heading out with a friend. Being alone at night is not a good idea for anyone, no matter how close you are to your home or dorm. It only takes a few minutes for accidents to happen.
2. The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you’re close enough to someone to use it, then do it. It packs the most force, even more than a fist or a swift kick.
3. Take the elevator instead of the stairs. Stairwells are the worst places to get caught in, because there are only two directions to go- up or down. Stairwells can be very dangerous at night, just because it is one of the more convenient places for crimes to happen.
4. If you must be alone at night by yourself (walking back from the library, etc.), don’t make eye contact with anyone. Keep your head down and walk quickly to your destination. Don’t be afraid to run if you feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable. Don’t take any shorcuts or alleyways- stick to lighted streets. Don’t stop anywhere to linger or to check your phone. You can always do all that later in a much safer setting.
5. You can use basic items in your purse as weapons, if needed. Every girl should have pepper spray with her just in case, but if not, you can also use your keys, mascara, change rolls, and even your purse itself as a weapon.
6. Always lock your doors. Even if you live in a dorm, which is full of people and has a security system on the doors, it is imperative to lock your doors, especially at night. It adds an extra layer of security to your room, and you’ll be able to sleep peacefully at night knowing you’ve taken all the precautions you can.
The world unfortunately has a lot of suspicious people in it, and it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry. We as girls need to stick together in these trying times and protect each other. It’s unfair that it has to be like this, but it’s easier than you’d think to stay safe and have fun in college. Being aware of your surroundings and surrounding yourself with people you love and trust are definitely ways you can make the outside world safer for you.