The society has changed and so have the circumstances. People who used to go to almost any place recklessly are now stuck amidst the thought whether they should or should not go out depending on the shape the society has transformed into. We come across day-to-day news of women harassment and child sexual abuse. These have become things of daily routine, leaving us all cringe at the mere thought of it. A state of misery, a state of dilemma and helplessness has enveloped us. The black sheep of society leaves us with no other option but to be cautious and to be confined within the protective boundary of restrictions.
A girl’s safety is of main concern to her parents. Going out in the fields and working among a greater majority of men is daring enough for females, if not in terms of workload, then surely in terms of bearing the attitude of male counterparts.
Here are 10 tips for Pakistani girls to stay safe outside their homes:
1. Never ask strangers for directions
Asking a stranger for directions is like calling for trouble. No one can be trusted in today’s society, it is risky for girls. The person being asked about the way can ultimately take advantage of a girl’s ignorance. It’s always better to keep a track of roads or better still use the Google Maps. Even if you find someone who looks a downright gentleman, don’t take the chance still, for ‘appearances are deceiving’.
2. Stay alert-avoid distractions
Never lose track of your surroundings for a single minute. Keep an eye on all the happenings around you. Even the slightest distraction can get you in a fix. For instance, if you are going somewhere via public transport, the absence of mind can result in extreme consequences. Therefore, always be more vigilant and watchful of the events. Prepare in mind sudden responses for any unusual happening.
3. Keep your phone close to you
Your phone should be in your hand while emergency numbers on speed dial. As soon as you feel something unusual, get your grip tight on the phone. Call someone for your aid immediately; it will intimidate your threat a great deal.
4. Avoid sharing a close confinement with any male
Try to avoid being alone in a lift or closed cubicle with any stranger, get out of it immediately unless there is a lift controller or someone you know. If by chance you do get trapped, press all the buttons on the control panel of the elevator so that it stops on all floors and you can get out of it on its very next stop.
5. Trust your instincts
Instinct is something that comes from within, it needs not be told. So, if your sixth sense is signaling towards something wrong, do not be ignorant. It could be the only thing that can save you at that particular time. It could be about sensing someone staring at you or a stranger following you. Go for whatever your brain tells you.
Do you know: The total number of cases registered under Hudood Ordinance rose from 75,943 in 2001 to 82,545 in 2002, and from 76,063 in 2003 to 77,420 in 2004. (Source: udood Ordinance 1979-Council Of Islamic Ideology)
6. Even if you’re scared, don’t let anyone perceive your fear
That nervous look can really draw foreign attention. A stranger can get a hint of your weak position, the next thing they do is to intimidate you even more. In such moment, you must pretend to be bold and fearless. Faking your vulnerability can work; one scowl is more than enough for such kind of people. Because in truth, they are also playing pretend.
7. Don’t forget to take note of the taxi number
Note down the taxi number before riding it and send it to any of your family members. Also, be very cautious about what direction the driver is heading to. Drop a text or make a phone call in case of suspicion or pretend that you are talking on the phone. Use the tools present in your bag in case of extreme emergency.
8. Keep the tools in bag to be on safer side
Keep in your bag such things that are handy and work well in time of emergency. For instance, a rope, scissors, pocket knife etc.
9. Avoid using try rooms in any shop
Try to avoid using try rooms regardless of the reputation of the store. If you are the only shopper at the store, it could be dangerous. Also, there have been a number of cases reported where hidden cameras were fixed inside try rooms, thereby destroying an innocent girl’s reputation.
10. Shout out
If you sense a threat, remaining silent can make the intimidator more courageous. Speak out louder and shout out for your aid. This will scare the intimidator, ultimately resulting in his backing out.
Our nation has to pave paths for prosperity, from which comes the fact that we as a nation have to get civilized in terms of respecting women and giving them a sense of security to freely work or study in a harassment-free environment. This gives them the authority to enjoy the perks of an independent life, free from any kind of apprehension.
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