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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Do You Feel Safe? - July 28th 2013, 11:17 PM

Morning guys .

OK so I just wanted to write and get some advice, or rather insight especially from girls about something that happened to me last week . OK, so last week, I can't remember what day it was but it was late afternoon and I was walking home from the station, cause I had just finished Uni right? And it is pissing down rain by this stage and I am just walking home, umbrella in hand, and I see this girl in the distance.

I decide to go up to her and ask whether she wants to use my umbrella cause it was getting dangerous by this stage . But yeah, I just walk up to her, and say "excuse me", tapping her on the shoulder and in panic, she lets out a scream and elbows me straight in the ribs and runs away.

I mean I get it, she may have been startled by the tap on the shoulder, but it was daylight and we were on a busy road, that was complete panic. After that, it sort of made me think, how come girls always think that other guys are a danger to them? She thought I was a danger to her, and so did my friend.....

In mid 2011, my friend stopped talking to me and in the eight months afterwards, I never found out why. Then I found out why..... among others i never knew, the main reason why she stopped talking to me is because she thought I was peeving on her one day, looking at her weirdly, and that triggered complete panic, as I said, she wouldn't shake my hand, speak to me, acknowledge me or be near me. She thought I was a danger to her.

It happened the other day too, a girl was at the computer printing out her assignment and I had the same assignment the day after so I talked to her about it, like, "How long have you been working on it? Good luck with it" etc, and she was giving me one word answers and wouldn't make eye contact, like every single time a guy talks to you it doesn't mean their hitting on you .

But I am just wondering whether anyone has experienced the same thing and more importantly, from girls, do you feel safe around other guys and why/why not?

Kidnapping cases and other cases in the media have probably triggered an unnecessary fear in the community that every single guy is out to get them or wants something from them, it's just ridiculous. Namely the Jill Meagher case of Australia, triggered a massive amount of fear in the community , and the media didn't help, saying there are more men like Adrian Earnest Bailey. That was a terrible terrible crime, but it's not like every single guy is out to get you, and it's not like you need to feel so unsafe around an eighteen year old kid like myself.

What do you guys think? Do you feel unsafe and why?


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Last edited by Amorphous.; July 29th 2013 at 12:01 AM.
   
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - July 28th 2013, 11:28 PM

For me, when I'm out alone without anyone I know I do feel a little unsafe. I know not every guy out there is going to be an awful guy who wants to kidnap a girl or hurt her, but you never know, right? I always say better safe than sorry. I would say the media has a lot to do with it. Just recently I watched a movie The Call, and the girl got kidnapped buy a guy who acted like he "accidentally" almost hit her with his car. I've heard stories of girls and young women being kidnapped in the parking lots of grocery stores, or followed home from the grocery store. One woman was followed home and noticed the guy following her was wearing a mask, and they wouldn't arrest him on the spot, even though he had items in his car that he was planning to use to sexually assault her.

It's a bit scary when you know that someone could kidnap you from a store you've gone to for years, you know? When you don't know someone, it's easy to not be able to trust them. A lot of these guys can seem really nice and friendly, and sometimes they're not at all what they seem. It's pretty sad to have to think like that though.


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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - July 28th 2013, 11:57 PM

The thing is, you don't know what has happened in any of these girls' pasts that could cause them to react in such a way. They may have previously had very bad, traumatic experiences that leave them feeling panicy, and that's understandable.
For me personally, whether I had a bad experience in the past or not, if someone that I didn't know randomly tapped me on the shoulder, it would freak me out. I don't want anyone just randomly touching me. Plus, were you tapping her shoulder from behind? That would freak me out even more, not being able to see the person when it's bad weather to begin with. I get that you were trying to be polite, but I think if you had just said "excuse me", that would have sufficed in getting her attention.
Busy street and day light doesn't mean that bad things don't happen. I've personally experienced something pretty terrible in the middle of the day, on a busy street, by a complete stranger. And it has made me more cautious (that and some other crappy experiences.)
I don't necessarily feel unsafe when I'm out and about on my own, but I do make sure that I am aware of my surroundings at all times...I just think that's a smart thing to do no matter what---by yourself or with a group of people, at day or at night, in a busy area or a more quiet area, etc. I'm not just aware of males walking by...I try to be aware of everything. Because the truth is...you never know what someone's intentions are when they approach you. Your intentions were good, wanting to offer your umbrella to someone. But she didn't know that. There's no way she could have. 18 year old college kid or not, you still could have had bad intentions and she wouldn't have known either way.

Not everyone will react like that girl did. Maybe in the future, just try to get the person's attention through words and don't physically touch them? I know you didn't mean anything by it and all that, but like I said--you never know why someone is reacting like they are.



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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - July 29th 2013, 12:03 AM

I agree with Em something must have happened to them to trigger this kinda response. I personally feel safe around men. I have no problem and won't break out screaming but something must have triggered the response. No one will just freak out because a guy talked to them. Something in their past has caused the panic




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Smile Re: Do You Feel Safe? - July 29th 2013, 01:20 AM

Just be careful of how you approach people. Like Em said; use your words instead of touching them because you never know what has happened to another person. I personally am anxious around large crowds of people because there are so many people and anything could happen. Just watch your boundaries and you probably won't freak somebody out.
   
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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - July 29th 2013, 02:07 AM

Honestly, I would have done the exact same thing that girl did. I was in an abusive relationship and I can barely handle my friends touching me, much less a man I don't know. Like others have said, you don't know what others have been through.



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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - July 29th 2013, 02:28 AM

For me it depends, I'm under 5 feet tall so I'm a little uneasy about most people I don't know when I'm walking alone. I have taken self defense and would not be afraid to defend myself if i felt threatened. Having said that, I'm always forced to walk alone, sometimes after dark and I've only been really uncomfortable once. If I were the first girl, there's a good chance I would've done the same thing, it's the touching that would get me, but I would probably say no to the umbrella too because you're a stranger and I don't know what your intentions are.

As for the girl in the computer lab, if I'm on campus or in a building I feel completely safe unless there are people around who are acting strangely. If I know people from classes then I'm fine with them, even if they're casual acquaintances I would accept a ride from a male classmate for example, but not a stranger. I have accepted a ride from a stranger only once I was late for class and COMPLETELY lost. She offered me a ride and I accepted The rule of thumb for that though, if you don't know them at all, only accept a ride from another woman and only if you're absolutely desperate.

The one time I felt unsafe I was wandering around alone, lost (again) and there was an older gentleman walking directly behind me on a sidewalk wide enough for two people. I moved over to let him pass and he stayed behind my left shoulder. I went to cross the street and stopped short because I thought I heard a car coming and the guy tripped over himself. I had planned on going into the nearest building (or acting like I was) to get him to go away, but he just went around me and kept walking. I will give directions etc. from a socially acceptable distance, but if you are immediately in my personal space I would likely hit you and scream.

I understand that you're just trying to be nice, but we're socialized to protect ourselves and that men can and do seriously hurt us.


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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - July 29th 2013, 03:11 AM

I feel safe when I have a weapon on me.

However, I still avoid walking alone at night.



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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - July 30th 2013, 03:51 PM

I'm feel safe amount males but I'm more cautious if I see them on the street, than I am if I see a female on the street if you get what I mean. The media doesn't really help by showing case's of kidnapping and stuff like that.
I agree with Kat, I also hate walking alone at night too.






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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - July 30th 2013, 03:59 PM

If I'm completely honest, it's not just guys who I'm weary of. But that's just me. I'm constantly aware of my surroundings when I'm out, and if people talk to me, I always assume the worst. It's not because I think everyone is out to get me, it's just something in my head that's afraid of people. I agree that something the people have experienced before may change their perception of strangers. I know I'm particularly on edge since a couple of years ago when I was approached by a guy who was asking about my school and if I had a boyfriend. He creeped me out a bit, so I'm always aware of who I'm around, taking mental notes about appearences etc. It's a personal thing I think. Friends of mine don't mind who they talk to. Sure, if someones acting suspcious they may be worried, but generally, people I know are okay about being out and talking to people. It's personal circumstance I think.


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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - July 30th 2013, 06:17 PM

Thing for me is, when I'm walking alone or with my little brothers, I go on defense mode, and avoid pretty much any people. What I can't understand is why that girl flipped when you talked about the assignment.
I wouldn't give it much thought...if it happens again, don't be afraid to bring it up or make a joke or something.
I personally don't fear guys at all, depending on where I'm at. I'm trained in martial arts, most guys aren't freaking serial killers, and I'm kinda a dare devil. xD not in danger, but there's not much I won't do when it comes to dares. So yeah, I'm the type of girl who'll make eye contact and hold it, wink, do the sup thing, wave, and talk to strangers.
That's irrelevant, but I guess what I'm getting at is I don't fear males unless they are big and buff, taller than me, look stronger, and are acting suspicious or mean. Like once I went to a drug store alone, and this guy was yelling...right next to me. So he was cussin and waving his arms out almost hitting me, and kept going to reach in his jacket.
So times like that are the only times I'll be afraid. But I can't see why those girls acted like that, especially your friend. :c


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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - August 8th 2013, 12:35 PM

I'm trans, and still have to live as a girl a lot of the time (parents u_u). When I'm dressed as a girl I really don't feel safe. Walking at night is pretty scary. I think it's just social conditioning you know? You don't know which guy is good and which is the scary rapist you've been warned about.

When I'm passing as male I definitely feel a lot safer because I feel like I'm more likely gonna be left alone.


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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - August 8th 2013, 01:52 PM

I live in the city so walking alone is always a concern, especially if im alone. I just carry my kukri in my left pant leg if im going to a bad part of town. I could never work up to actually swing it in self defense but a foot of curved sharpened steel definitely dissuades people from trying anything sketchy with me. If you dont know what a kukri is, google image it. youll see what i mean.





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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - August 8th 2013, 02:46 PM

I've had awful experiences with both strangers and people I know, so I'm constantly on edge as I can't trust anyone. I'd completely freak out if someone came up to me, no matter if they were genuine, my mind would just go straight to 'danger mode'.
   
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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - August 8th 2013, 03:32 PM

Yeah I pretty much freak out if a guy who I don't know talks to me, I get scared and panicky, I wouldn't say that is the guys fault though, its me, men scare me and its more down to my past than anything.



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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - August 8th 2013, 07:01 PM

I don't blame that girl for reacting the way she did. If it had been me instead of that girl, trust me... It would have been a lot more violent than an elbow to the ribs. Everything short of bullet wounds and knifing, since I don't carry guns and knives with me.

I would react a lot more kinder if a woman approaches me like that, unless she looks like a drug-addict. But for men, I feel a lot more wary. I mean, I don't know how I feel about the implication of this thread. Because, it makes me feel like you think all girls are living under the "I'm going to get raped!" mentality when it isn't necessarily true.

I know a lot of deaf people, who needs to use hand gestures to communicate rather than voice, and even they find other ways to get people's attention. They wave, run in front of that person, make a vocal noise and then point/gesture as a way of asking, to name a few. So unless you are actually deaf, your action isn't an excuse.

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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - August 8th 2013, 08:34 PM

I'm MTF transgender and I usually feel safe when I'm out as a man. However, even then I try to avoid talking to people or drawing unwanted attention to myself. The few times I've been out as a woman have been awful. I feel anxious and jumpy and unsafe. On top of all the horror stories about things happening to women, I also have in mind all the horror stories of things happening to transgendered folks. During those times I really don't feel safe around anyone, but especially men. It's not that I hold anything against them. I know a lot if nice guys. But in general, you guys are bigger and possibly stronger than me, and it'd be terrifying if anything happened.

I guess just keep in mind that things do happen and you don't know where these girls are coming from. The girl on the street I get, the friend, I probably would have confronted you if I was her, and told you that I felt uncomfortable. You have to realize that the media and our society as a whole teaches women, children, and even other men to be uncomfortable around men, and unfortunately, there's sometimes a good reason for that.


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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - August 8th 2013, 10:21 PM

I live in an area that isn't so great, so walking alone is always a concern for me, especially at night. So, no. I don't feel safe a lot of the time, but a lot of that has to do with my circumstances. I'm also a bit wary of other men because of some things that have happened in my life, which have made me a bit more paranoid.


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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - August 9th 2013, 04:12 AM

Hmm, I don't like being touched so I probably would have done the same thing, however I am not terrified of going out alone. But, I haven't been abused or assaulted before so that is probably why.

I agree with what people said about not knowing someone's past, for all you know they could have been abused or worse, so of course they would react that way.

The main reason why I don't get scared is because I'm pretty strong for a girl and I am a fast runner, so I could get away from a situation fast. Now, if it was pitch black and a guy touched me, I'd punch them in the face and take off running, so I am still very aware of my surroundings if I am out alone.



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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - August 9th 2013, 07:03 AM

I used to be scared when I was in my old neighborhood (meth labs, creepy men, and juvinile delinquents. I used to live in the "most ghetto part of town") but now we live out in the country (still in the same town) so I feel a little safer now. But if someone came up and touched me, I would run away as fast as I can.
   
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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - August 9th 2013, 07:28 AM

I don't. I know the statistical chance of "stranger-rape" is low, but it still scares the hell out of me.


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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - August 9th 2013, 07:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avanzare. View Post
The thing is, you don't know what has happened in any of these girls' pasts that could cause them to react in such a way. They may have previously had very bad, traumatic experiences that leave them feeling panicy, and that's understandable.
For me personally, whether I had a bad experience in the past or not, if someone that I didn't know randomly tapped me on the shoulder, it would freak me out. I don't want anyone just randomly touching me. Plus, were you tapping her shoulder from behind? That would freak me out even more, not being able to see the person when it's bad weather to begin with. I get that you were trying to be polite, but I think if you had just said "excuse me", that would have sufficed in getting her attention.
Busy street and day light doesn't mean that bad things don't happen. I've personally experienced something pretty terrible in the middle of the day, on a busy street, by a complete stranger. And it has made me more cautious (that and some other crappy experiences.)
I don't necessarily feel unsafe when I'm out and about on my own, but I do make sure that I am aware of my surroundings at all times...I just think that's a smart thing to do no matter what---by yourself or with a group of people, at day or at night, in a busy area or a more quiet area, etc. I'm not just aware of males walking by...I try to be aware of everything. Because the truth is...you never know what someone's intentions are when they approach you. Your intentions were good, wanting to offer your umbrella to someone. But she didn't know that. There's no way she could have. 18 year old college kid or not, you still could have had bad intentions and she wouldn't have known either way.

Not everyone will react like that girl did. Maybe in the future, just try to get the person's attention through words and don't physically touch them? I know you didn't mean anything by it and all that, but like I said--you never know why someone is reacting like they are.
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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - August 9th 2013, 01:33 PM

I do feel unsafe if I'm out on the streets at nighttime, even if I'm walking through a well lit, busy place but I wouldn't scream or run away from someone if they approached me. Of course if they made me uncomfortable or if they seemed to be acting strangely then I'd leave but otherwise, I'd see what they wanted.

I think it just depends on the person though, I haven't had any bad experiences with people approaching me in the street. Most of them are asking for directions, I've had someone ask to use my phone to ring their parents or something simple but if someone has had a bad experience, they might not react in the same way that I do.
   
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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - August 9th 2013, 03:34 PM

I went through a phase of being literally paranoid of every little thing, but I had probable cause since an ex was practically stalking me at the time. Now, however, eh. I'm cautious, but not afraid. My boyfriend worries about me in certain situations more than I do, so he'll walk with me if I have to get gas or go to an ATM at night. Or he'll tell me to be careful. But personally, I'm very aware of my surroundings & I'm pretty careful about walking around campus at night (which isn't a very good part of town), etc. I've just gotten used to it & although I'm not so used to it that I'm ignorant, I've just learned which things to pay attention to.



   
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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - August 9th 2013, 10:10 PM

I know some girl that would react like that but I don't think I would of elbowed your in the rips, I have the bad tradition of trusting people without knowing them so if you offered and umbrella on a raining day I would probably accept or if you ask me a question I wouldn't avoid at least making eye contact with you, I think it's very disrespectful when people don't make eye contact when I'm talking to them so I would do that to others, if I thought something was weird about the situation I would just excuse myself with a lame excuse and continue my day.


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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - August 10th 2013, 02:16 AM

I am usually on edge if I am ever out alone, so it may have not been you per se, just that she was unusually tense.

Also, in my experience, every guy that has ever talked to me has only done so because they want to at the very least date me. I've made the mistake of being friendly back, and I don't know if I send off certain signals or something, but every single one has asked me out.

Although, I know that my biggest fear is definitely getting raped/kidnapped, so I definitely get paranoid sometimes.




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Re: Do You Feel Safe? - August 10th 2013, 03:47 AM

For me, it depends on the location I guess. And it depends on what the person is talking about. And, I'm not going to lie, it also depends on what they look like. For example, I'm not going to talk to someone on the sidewalk who is dressed like crap and being creepy. I'd probably avoid him. But maybe I wouldn't feel so scared if he were dressed nicely and looked decent.

But I guess it all comes down to the time and the place. If somewhere were in a library with me, and talking to me about the assignment we're both doing, of course I'd talk back. If I were in a check out line in a store, and someone started talking to me about what I'm buying, I'd talk back. If someone offered my their umbrella in the rain, I would not have elbowed them in the ribs. I would have probably politely declined. But if someone came up to me on the street at night, while I was alone, I would most likely run. Or be on the edge.


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