Now what am I going to do? I don’t have a car and I often go out at night alone. Even if I take public transportation, I have to walk home from the bus stop. Even daylight is not a cover, since my neighbor was mugged right near her door in broad daylight. Fortunately, it doesn’t get dark until late at this time of year. Around the winter solstice, darkness falls around 4:30 PM. I could deal with going out at night, staying in well lit places, and carrying pepper spray near my home. What would I do elsewhere? Tonight I wanted to go to an event that I’ve gone to for several years, over a two week period of time, at night. Even before tonight’s mugging, I was concerned about walking from the Metro station to my destination, a big hotel. Last year, I felt creepy walking there at night by myself. The streets were almost deserted and, worse still, my walk took me across a grassy area and then up and over a dark, deserted footbridge with turns and corners. I was thinking about trying to get a cab from the Metro station to the hotel tonight.
So many women are affected by such crimes. We are affected even more by fear of crime. We don’t go out at night, especially to places where we feel uncomfortable, because of the fear. Single women are especially vulnerable, and I resent that. I feel that I can’t go places and do things that other women can because I don’t have a man to watch over me. Damn!
One of my male friends told me that he, too, is concerned, not only about me, but also about himself. Men get mugged, too. I had forgotten about that. Now I remember something about a trainer I had in a gym about 10 years ago. He is African American, big, bulky, and in great shape. He lives in a middle class neighborhood. One night he was held up at gunpoint just outside his home. He told me that the gun was almost against his chest, and he was awfully close to being dead. He is very sensitive to the fears of women. He often crosses a street to avoid walking behind a woman, especially a white woman. A few white men have told me that they do the same thing.
Crime stalks everyone, men and women, black and white, at any time of day and in any neighborhood.
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