Research published in 2020 found that a fifth (19%) of young women and girls aged between 14 and 21 had experienced being catcalled, followed, groped, flashed or up skirted, while 75% had experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime. A survey for during 2021 found that 86% of women aged 18-24 had been sexually harassed in public.
• In the United States on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner. Over a one year period, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
• 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. This includes a range of behaviours (ie; slapping, shoving, pushing) and in some cases might not be considered "domestic violence."
o 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner.
o 1 in 10 women have been raped by an intimate partner. Data is unavailable on male victims.
• 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence (ie; beating, burning, strangling) by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
• 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
• On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
• The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.
• Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
• Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.
• 19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.
• Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behaviour.
• Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.
Women's safety is always important, but it can be especially crucial when travelling or attending large events, such as recent Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations. Even when working there will be a need to attend conferences, presentations, workshops, some which will require travelling some distance and others which will require an overnight stay, away from home, family and friends. Here are some tips to help ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable vacation or New Year's Eve:
● Plan ahead: Make sure you have a way to get to and from the event, whether it's through a designated driver, public transportation, or a ride-sharing service. Avoid walking alone at night and consider bringing a friend or family member along for added safety.
● Know your surroundings: Familiarize yourself with the layout of the event, including the location of exits, restrooms, and first aid stations. Keep an eye out for any suspicious activity and trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, remove yourself from the situation as quickly and safely as possible.
● Protect your belongings: Keep an eye on your items, such as your phone and purse, and consider leaving valuables at home. If you must bring them with you, keep them in a secure location, such as a locked car or a designated coat check.
● Stay with friends/colleagues: There is safety in numbers, so try to stay with a group of friends or family members at the event. If you do become separated, make sure to have a designated meet-up spot in case you need to regroup.
● Trust your instincts: Trust yourself and don't feel pressure to do something that makes you uncomfortable. It's okay to say no and prioritize your safety.
● Have an escape plan: In the event of an emergency, it's important to have a plan in place for how to safely exit the event. Know the location of exits and familiarize yourself with the event's emergency procedures.
● Stay sober: Alcohol and drugs can impair your judgment and make you more vulnerable to danger. It's important to drink responsibly and stay sober at parties and events.
● Know the local emergency number: In case of an emergency, it's important to know how to contact the local authorities. Keep the emergency number saved in your phone and consider downloading a safety app, which allows you to alert trusted contacts if you need assistance.
By following these safety tips, you can help ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience. Remember, your safety is always your top priority, so don't be afraid to take steps to protect yourself.
Do self defence classes work? The techniques you learn will make you less vulnerable and more able to protect yourself. The calmness that comes from having the confidence to act in this kind of pressured situation, means you have the best chance of keeping yourself safe. But any self defence class you take part in must, must, must teach the law related to the use of reasonable force and communication skills (ie; use of verbal and non-verbal communication to defuse and resolve potentially dangerous situations).
Empowering people to do the right thing before things start to go wrong. Every plan ‘must’ have an exit strategy built into it. If at any point you feel concerned for your safety, then just walk away to a place/position of safety!