If you are a woman living alone, unfortunately, you have to pay a bit more attention to your safety and security than other women.(This is true for men, too.)When there is no one who would immediately notice your absence, you need to create ways for someone to notice.Many singles are like Trudy.
“If I were to drop dead in my bathroom, I probably wouldn’t be discovered for days.”Trudy has even thought about how her friends and work would react.
“If a friend called, and I didn’t answer the phone, she’d just think I’m out.If work called, they’d just assume I’d become irresponsible and forgotten to tell them I was out of town”
Years ago, I heard about a creative solution from a jogger who lived in New York City.Laura jogged daily, but before going out each morning, she called her best friend and gave her the route she’d be taking and the expected time of her returnShe called again when she got home. That gave Laura the security that if she didn’t make the second call, someone would be worried and would know where to come look for her.
Is that being childish?Certainly not in New York!But perhaps not in any city or town.Accidents, not just violence, can happen.Laura could faint or twist her ankle, and no one might come by.If no one knew she was out or where she was, she could be in pain or trouble for far too long.
If you are out of town by yourself, on business or pleasure, and have an accident or get hurt, how would anyone at home find out?Most women think they have covered this issue by leaving their itinerary and phone numbers with coworkers or family members.But, an itinerary is only useful if home needs to reach you, not if you are in trouble.
Cell phones, text messaging, and blackberries make this somewhat less an issue.But, only if you use them.When traveling, considercalling or texting someone every day, mentioning where you are.Tell the person if a day goes by without even a simple, “hi,” to check back with you or call hotel where you are staying.
But, what about just going along in your daily routine?For instance, when you go biking or hiking by yourself for the day, let someone know where you’ll be going, when you’ll be back, and call in when you return.
While you may nod your head and say, “Yes, that makes sense,” you may also know in your heart that you don’t do it.Why?Why are we humans so reluctant to take extra precautions?Perhaps we don’t want to acknowledge the reality that bad things can occur, as if,“If I don’t consider it a possibility, it won’t happen.”Perhaps there’s a rugged individualism that says, “I can manage by myself.“Perhaps it comes too close to feeling like a child having to “check in” with Mom.But, can you imagine checking in for yourself – because you care about your safety?
Be honest.After reading all this, will you do anything differently?
Karen Gail Lewis
"Adapted from With or Without A Man: Single Women Taking Control of Their Lives.
Why Don’t You Understand? A Gender Relationship Dictionary