Safety: Are You Being Careful Enough?

Safety: Are You Being Careful Enough?

By Anise Smith

I live in a big city and although it’s a big city, I can honestly say that I’ve never really felt unsafe. Even when growing up in a neighborhood that was in one of the roughest areas of the city, I still never felt as if I was unsafe. I think this is primarily due to my awareness about safety and because I always had thoughts of safety first.


Do you know how to stay safe?

I’m not sure what has changed in the past few years, but it seems as if there is currently a war on women and I believe it has taken us all by surprise. I do believe that we have been blindsided by what seems like an increase in violence against women.  I’m not sure if this is just in the Philadelphia area or throughout the United States.


After having a conversation with a few women I really started to think about how many crimes have been committed against women lately and how rampant it seems to be, especially in the Philadelphia area.  I am not sure what has happened to turn the tide toward making women victims but I do know that something needs to be done!


This conversation was prompted by 2 incidents in Philly within a few days of each other. The first situation involved a young woman just waiting for a train at the subway station. This woman was brutally attacked by a man at 3:00 pm in the afternoon, assaulted, thrown on to the subway tracks and left for dead.  It was fortunate that she was not hurt to the degree that she could not help herself, climb from the train tracks, and get help. The other woman victimized was not quite so lucky. This young pediatrician from an affluent area of the city was brutally attacked and set on fire in her own home by an exterminator that felt disrespected by the way that she spoke to him.  For this she was brutally killed! This kind of violence against women by men has to STOP!


Awareness has always been uppermost in my mind and I believe that is due to growing up in a neighborhood that was a bit on the tough side AND having a father that was a cop in an even tougher neighborhood.  These two things is what I believe has prepared me for exercising caution at all times when venturing out.

I grew up with cops around the neighborhood and around the house so I was on the receiving end of all kinds of advice about protecting oneself and being careful.  The BEST advice that I got was that I should try to PREVENT harmful situations that way I don’t have to fight my way out of them. Sometimes this is not an option but when it is some steps you can take to be safe.


  • It is always best to travel in pairs, so limit your nighttime travel alone.  If you are hanging out with your girls, why not plan to sleep over after hanging out, instead of traveling home alone especially if it’s late at night or early morning.
  • Don’t open your door for strangers, EVER!
  • Don’t allow maintenance people in your home if you are alone, have a friend come over to wait with you.
  • When traveling by train wait in an area that is NOT deserted and with other people that are also waiting for the train.
  • If possible travel by train with a friend.
  • If you travel by subway or train, ALWAYS sit near the train conductor. This would be in the first or last train car.
  • Be aware of your surrounding ALWAYS, put your cell phone away and pay attention!
  • When going to your car, have your keys out. If you have remote door locks, unlock your car as soon as you walk outside.
  • When you get into your car, LOCK your doors.
  • When you get out of your cars, have your car keys in your hand.
  • Park your car in a well-lit area.
  • When you are at a stoplight, leave a car length of distance between you and the driver in front of you.  You should always have room to maneuver your car quickly if needed.
  • Don’t use fast food drive through windows that have lots of shrubs near the drive through window.
  • Don’t plant huge shrubs near your front door. This could be a place for assailants to hide.
  • Don’t park in parking garages if you are alone.


FINALLY, consider buying a stun gun, if it’s legal in your town. There are precautions that can be taken so that you try not to place yourself in harms way but you can never be to safe or prepared.  As for the stun gun, nothin’ like a little jolt, that depletes blood sugars and quick conversion of these sugars to lactic acid to bring a predator around.  On that cheery note, take precautions and stay safe.

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