Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Be smart and be safe!

I had quite a scary experience last night. I went out to dinner with some friends, and afterwards walked them to the metro. While we said our goodbyes I saw in the corner of my eye a guy who definitely was a little off. So I started walking quickly home (like a power-walk pace) and thought nothing more of it. But then one of the friends who I was just with called me and said that she thought she saw someone following me. I turned around, and sure enough, the guy was still there. I booked it (i.e. RAN) to the closest open store (at this point it's almost 9pm) and hid inside. I told the clerks that I was hiding out, and after a few minutes, I felt safe enough to go outside. I walked maybe a block to another street, and I saw the same guy there. So I ran back into the store, called the cops, and explained what was going on. The police came, picked me up, and drove me safely home.

Now, I am mad at myself that I was smart enough to notice a strange man, but not enough to look behind me after a block or two to see if he was following me. I'm glad part of my natural instincts were kicking in, but if my friend hadn't called me, I never would of looked behind me, and he would have followed me home. So thank goodness for friends who truly care about you!!!

When it comes to things like this, it doesn't hurt to have a friend with you. If it's late at night, I am always with someone. But this was a Tuesday night before 9pm in a very safe neighborhood. I have lived in this same place for almost a year, and this is the one and only time I have ever felt unsafe. While I like to think this incident was a fluke, you can bet that I won't be walking home by myself anytime soon. So use the buddy system and walk together!

I want people to know that you can't overreact in this day and age. Some people might argue that calling the cops wasn't necessary, but I think it's better to be safe than sorry. Unfortunately there's no safety ride like in college that is specifically for driving young women home at night. But police are here to keep us safe, so when you're feeling UNsafe, you have every right to call them to help you. Even if you aren't 100% that you're in danger, it's worth calling for their help.


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