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5 tips for staying safe as a woman living in NYC

December 15, 2022 | By Roomrs


It is an unfortunate reality, that women are more likely to fall victim to sexual assault. There have been countless incidents in the media, of women being attacked walking down the street, in the subway, getting into their cars, or even in their own homes!


As much as we wish things like this didn’t happen, it’s important to be aware of how we can better protect ourselves. No matter where you live, women have to take precautions to ensure their safety; but here are some tips for staying safe as a female residing in NYC.

Be aware

It’s almost second nature for many of us to listen to music at full volume during our walk to the subway or catch up with a friend while waiting on the platform for the next train to arrive. Having said that, it’s crucial to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Assess each situation, and use your intuition to determine when it’s appropriate to listen to music or take a call. Make sure you are not distracted, as you become a more convenient target to attackers.


So, if you’re walking home alone late at night, maybe pause your music, avoid checking social media, and make sure you can hear and see your surroundings fully.


Awareness doesn’t only apply to taking public transportation or walking home. If you order a car service, make sure to check the license plate and ask the driver who requested the ride. Once you are in the car, map out the route to your destination yourself. Check the GPS periodically to confirm your driver is not deviating from the route. Additionally, apps like Uber and Lyft now have the option to share your ride with a phone contact of your choice. It will send the driver's information, as well as your location, route, and time of arrival with a friend or family member of your choosing. This way, someone else can follow your ride, and make sure you get to your destination.

Never take the same route home

You don’t want to create patterns in your movements, as this makes you an easier target. Understandably, you may have places you need to go to every day (like school or work). But avoid walking down the same street each time. If there are multiple modes of transportation you can take to get there, try switching it up (take the bus one day, and the train the next). Stop at a different coffee shop, or try a new breakfast place, maybe leave a little earlier or a little later on certain days; any small things you can do to deviate from a pattern will lessen the chances of someone being able to track your whereabouts.



Follow the crowd

The likelihood of being attacked is lessened if lots of people are around. Attackers victimize based on opportunity, so crowded routes tend to be safer. Try to aim for streets that are well lit, and have more foot traffic. If an incident occurs, it's easier to attract attention and get help if you are in a more crowded area.


NYC has been notably labeled as the city that never sleeps, so even late at night, there are usually people out and about. However, there are times where you may discover that you are the only person walking down the block. This is where awareness comes in; be extra cautious of your surroundings whenever you find yourself in this situation.

Make use of safety apps

We’ve been blessed with living in an era of advanced technology, so it’s up to us to use the tools we are given. In regards to safety, there are multiple apps available that can help women feel safer.


Firstly, there are several location-sharing apps available. These include apps like Life360, Glympse, and Find My Friends, to name a few. These apps allow you to share your live location with a group of trusted individuals. It also sends notifications to group members that give live updates on your whereabouts, when you’ve left your home, when you’re on the move, etc.


Other safety apps that deserve a download include:


  • Hollaback: This app collects user experiences on incidents of street harassment, and specifies the location in which the incident occurred.


  • Shake2Safety: Emergency messages will be sent to a contact of your choice, and will record video and audio when activated. Activation of the app is very subtle and can be trigged by something as simple as shaking your phone


  • BSafe: This app has a range of different features. Including an SOS button, a fake call feature and similar to Shake2Safety, records audio and video when activated. It can also send your location to invited contacts.


  • One Scream: If the app is on, it will begin to sound a siren if it detects a scream. The user has a 20 second time frame to cancel it, before the app sends their location, along with an automated message, to chosen contacts.



Take a self-defense class

Taking a self-defense class equips women in knowing how to handle an emergency situation. Instructors will help you learn key moves that can be heard off an attacker, and help you get away if needed. It also gives you a sense of confidence that if anything happens, you have a better chance at defending yourself. Accompany this with carrying self-defense tools like pepper spray (yes, pepper spray is legal to carry in NYC, as long as the container is pocket-sized).


Look up self-defense classes in your area, and search websites like Groupon for exclusive deals and discounts for large groups.


Roomrs ensure the safety of every resident, offering keypad entry via smart access in select apartments. Unlock your door with your smartphone or smartwatch. Forgot those? Use your individual and unique code for quick entry.

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