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Old 09-14-2006, 08:41 AM   #31
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Living in fear is not fun- as a woman it's different too, and tougher not to be fearful. Just because of the physical strength differences, and fear of rape..that sort of thing. I am cautious but I don't let fear rule my life. That is an awful way to live. I live in a quiet suburb but I have had problems just going for walks-yet I can travel into the city and have no problems. Danger is everywhere, but not letting it rule your life is the way to go in my opinion. I consider my parents to be fearful and somewhat paranoid, and I am aware that this has been passed on to me. When I acknowledged that and became aware of it, that's when I made a conscious decision to be cautious and aware, but not paranoid. I feel happier that way. I am not foolish, but I want to be able to be free too.
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Old 09-14-2006, 10:50 AM   #32
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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Living in fear is not fun- as a woman it's different too, and tougher not to be fearful. Just because of the physical strength differences, and fear of rape..that sort of thing. I am cautious but I don't let fear rule my life. That is an awful way to live. I live in a quiet suburb but I have had problems just going for walks-yet I can travel into the city and have no problems. Danger is everywhere, but not letting it rule your life is the way to go in my opinion. I consider my parents to be fearful and somewhat paranoid, and I am aware that this has been passed on to me. When I acknowledged that and became aware of it, that's when I made a conscious decision to be cautious and aware, but not paranoid. I feel happier that way. I am not foolish, but I want to be able to be free too.
That's what I was trying to say in my first post...being a young, small girl I find myself being a little paranoid out in public places like the mall, especially if I am by myself. It would simply be naive of me to think that nothing could happen to me, especially after hearing story after story of girls my age being kidnapped, raped, killed, or all of the above. Most of my girl friends feel the same way.

ETA: I hope to never live in a room on the first floor while I'm in college (I'm on the 4th floor this year). Even though my campus has been ranked as the #1 safest in Virginia and the 5th safest in the nation, there is still that little voice in the back of my mind reminding me of girls who have been raped in college. Just last year there was a serial rapist going around at a college 20 minutes from here. It's simply the reality of the world we live in, unfortunately.
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Old 09-14-2006, 11:55 AM   #33
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Living in small town Canada, I really don't have any sense of fear in my day to day life when it comes to my safety. I never think to do things like check a public restroom before entering it or looking in store windows before entering. For one thing, people around here just don't carry guns. It's not even a concept that we would really consider. On most farms in the area, there would probably be a rifle or shotgun for taking care of coyotes, etc. that might attack the farm animals, but you never see these guns. People don't display them or carry them with them.

I do have to admit that I was fairly nervous when I first moved to a city (although Saskatoon has only about 200, 000 people and is overall very safe). I just learned which neighbourhoods you don't venture into after dark. I did feel more fearful if I was approached at night, particularly if it was a group of men, but I think that is pretty normal for most women in that sort of situation.

One thing that is kind of funny about people around here is that a lot of them tend to see big cities as being really dangerous (even though we have a pretty low crime rate, especially compared to a lot of places in the world). I have a friend who is kind of like a grandpa to me, and when I told him I was planning to move to Toronto, he told me in a completely serious voice, "No! Don't move there! That's where they shoot people and they don't ask questions!"
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Old 09-15-2006, 12:11 AM   #34
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As a 22 year old female, I'll admit that when I walked home from college classes in the dark every night (walked home to my off-campus house, not a dorm nearby), I would scope things out. I didn't feel afraid though. It's hard to explain; I think part if it may be that I'm such an analytical person that I subconsciously enjoy "contingency planning" in any situation I encounter. So, if I were crossing the huge parking lot along the back edge, where there's woods and it's barely lit, I'd take notice of any other car or person, but mainly because my mind likes to wander, not because I actually perceived a threat.

I've never carried pepper spray or any type of weapon (or anything I intended to use as a weapon).

I grew up in the ghetto in a decent sized city. During the early 90s, we had a long period of violent gang wars. As a kid, my brother and I were shot in the legs and head by a well known 16 year old gang member. He was carrying some type of hand gun loaded with BBs or birdshot, so we weren't injured beyond lumps and aches. The kid was killed in the gang war. Living there, I was always afraid, always. It got worse the older I got, because I understood things like gangs, drugs, and racism. By the time we moved, I was often too afraid to play in my own yard, because kids from the brothels and crack houses would come over, steal stuff, pick on my brother, and start their own fights.

When I was 11, we moved into the house my great grandpa built. It's a smaller house and yard, but safe neighborhood. We don't even lock our backdoor during the day (only me and my parents have housekeys).

This one time in high school, my dad called the cops because one afternoon, this weird guy knocked on the front door and tried to make small talk with me. Then he asked if he could come in and take my picture. I remember memorizing every detail - he was black but had almost orangish skin, he had a large mole on his bald head, and his tie was like metallic purple. He said his name was Oscar and he carried some sort of hard case and said "well, I didn't know Miss America lived here!" I thought it wasn't a big deal; obviously I did not let him in and asked him to leave. But my dad freaked out because he thought the guy had staked me out (I was home alone from 1-5pm everyday after school).

As a college student, I tried not to be afraid of men simply because they were men, but every time I hear again that 1 in 3 women are sexually assaulted at that age, I tried to at least maintain some level of hesitation (still walk home alone, but not get into a strange guy's car, things like that).

One habbit I have is that if I'm home alone, I always lock the house doors when I'm in the shower!
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:54 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
As a kid, my brother and I were shot in the legs and head by a well known 16 year old gang member. He was carrying some type of hand gun loaded with BBs or birdshot, so we weren't injured beyond lumps and aches.

ok, now i'm not belittling gang violence or anything but "i got shot" does not equal "...with a bb gun"

yes i know occasionally small children end up in freak accidents where bb guns pierce there soft temples and kill them, or get hit in the eye and stuff, and i'm not saying they're harmless toys.

but to say you were "shot" in some gang violence and then add its was by a bb gun... i can't even equate the 2!?!?!?

i've been hit by those things multiple times but i would never say that i had been shot in that sense.


Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


One habbit I have is that if I'm home alone, I always lock the house doors when I'm in the shower!
i lock the doors at home whether i'm in the shower or not
just seems like common sense
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Old 09-15-2006, 10:56 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by digsy



ok, now i'm not belittling gang violence or anything but "i got shot" does not equal "...with a bb gun"

yes i know occasionally small children end up in freak accidents where bb guns pierce there soft temples and kill them, or get hit in the eye and stuff, and i'm not saying they're harmless toys.

No, it's nowhere near equivallent, thank God! I don't think I ever said I was part of the gang war, but when it surrounds you for blocks and blocks, it's kind of hard to forget about. As a six year old, it was VERY scary. We were playing in a tree alongside our driveway and Peter's posse came by, gave us some shit, and thought it would be funny to make target practice out of little kids. I almost peed in my pants, my little brother was screaming, the dude was NOT carrying a BB gun. I thought I was really going to get shot, being taunted like that. Looking back, I'm most disturbed that kids as young as six and four have to be taught who to look out for in the neighborhood. It's not like we were a bunch of teenagers messing around in the woods. Thank god he was just out for target practice using BBs. That's why I was scared the most - if he thinks it's fun to shoot kids with BBs, next time it could be the real deal. No child deserves to be threatened like that, so much that they're scared to go out in their own yard until they move. Who taunts a four year old kid with a real gun, and then shoots him in the face at close range, regardless of what the ammo is? The police went to find him, but by that time he'd been shot int he gang war. It was like a civil war there for several years - constant drive-by shootings, a 14 year old killed a 4 year old...

If it's not scary to you, that's fine, I was simply using it as an example of how we had to be "safe out there" as kids - we had to know who was who and which ones to avoid, what pieces they carried and who was responsible for the chip on their shoulder. You had to avoid Peter at all costs, unless of course he starts picking on you at your own house, then you're stuck. It might be less scary for me now because I'd stick up for myself, but when I was six, hearing my neighbor friends get pounded by their parents every night, seeing people graffiti curses and racial slurs all over our house, watching people steal my things with my own eyes really spooked me.
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