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Safety Tips for Girls Away from Hometown

Wong Shu Lee  


  November 03, 2020


The murder case that happened in Taiwan last week was such a tragedy, words can’t express how deeply sorry we felt to the victim and her family. However, this is also a wake-up call to everyone that even in the safest place, horrible crimes can happen. And it has absolutely nothing to do with what kind of clothes you’re wearing. 


I studied in Taiwan from 2012 to 2016 and I’ve visited almost every district and some offshore islands in Taiwan. I could tell Taiwan is a safe place because we seldom hear about snatch cases, we feel safe to walk alone on the streets even at night. Therefore, the news truly shocked me and I started to rethink our safety awareness. 


After talking to some of my friends who are or were studying and working abroad, I’ve come to a realisation that there are many hidden risks of getting assaulted for those who are away from their hometown alone. 


“You’ll tend to spend more time outside, for food, entertainment and many other reasons. Things are worse if you’re not staying on the campus, you may need to walk alone back to your room late at night after work,” shared a friend of mine who studied in China a couple of years ago. 


“You may become the target victim of sexual harassment when your colleagues know that you’re staying alone and your family are far away from you. I mean, no one will discover that you might be in trouble even if you’re abducted,” another friend in Australia shared. 


These risks may also apply to those who are studying or working alone in cities, for instance, those who came to Kuala Lumpur from rural areas. Therefore, today we would like to share some safety tips in hoping to reduce the risks of getting into any unpleasant incident. 


Avoid Walking Alone At Night


If you’re staying in a school dormitory, it’s best to have a buddy system with your suite-mates or roomies so no one is walking alone. Walking home late by yourself from the library, parties, or even an evening class can seem pretty safe, especially when you are on a closed college campus. Unfortunately, that's not necessarily the case. Many sexual attacks occur within a mile of the victim's home. Therefore, always ensure you’re not alone. But also be careful when a quirky guy offers to walk you home late. To be on the safe side, text your roommates and insist them pick you up. 


If you’re staying alone, order a ride-hailing cab instead of walking when you’re going home late at night. 


Tell Everyone Your Business


It’s important to make sure you let someone close to you know where you are going, with whom, and what time they can expect you back. If you aren’t close with your roommates, text a good friend from back home and let them know where you are and what time they can expect to hear back from you. Touchwood, but if you meet any troubles and are not back on time, at least there is someone coming to look for you. 


Call Someone When Being Tailed


At times, you have no choice but to walk alone. A good way to reduce your risks from attacks is to call a friend and talk to him/her on the phone loud and clear. You can tell them where you are and what time you’ll be back. This action is helpful to stop suspicious people from preying on you because it is risky for them to attack you when they know someone is expecting you back. 


Keep in mind, sexual assault victims may not necessarily be pretty or someone who parties a lot. Molesters may not necessarily look quirky and perverted as well. And very unfortunately, there is no place in the world that is absolutely safe. Therefore, always be careful and stay alert. 


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