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a woman walking alone at night

Source: Vladimir Vladimirov / Getty

Two of my male friends were recently talking about all of the ways they adjust their behavior when they find themselves walking behind a woman—a woman who is alone—at night. They’re acutely aware of the fact that she’s probably uncomfortable having a strange man behind her. They’re good guys—they have no bad intentions—but they know that she doesn’t know that, and they don’t want her to feel afraid. Full disclosure: they also complained a bit and said, “Look at all this stuff we have to do to make women comfortable, because of bad things other men have done—we’re good dudes!” They’re right but, as “good dudes” they have a responsibility to go out of their way—yes out of their way—to make women who are alone feel safe. If you’re a man out there thinking it’s an inconvenience that you have to change your behavior to make women feel safe, just imagine how “inconvenient” it is for us to feel afraid all of the time. Men, here are ways to make a woman walking alone feel safe.


Do: Slow down

If you’re not in a hurry, just slow down. Walking at the same pace as her can make her feel like you’re following her. Slow down a bit, so she understands you aren’t trying to keep up with her.

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