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Over the years, the perception of safety while being out and about has undergone a profound transformation. In the not-so-distant past, it was so much easier to be roaming around and laughing with our friends and not have to be scared of what we may encounter. We could wander freely without the nagging fear of becoming a victim of heinous crimes like rape or stabbings. The Yasa’s were tightly-knit, and there was a collective trust in the decency of everyone in the Yasa or our communities. We could even go to sleep at night with our doors unlocked, and kids played outside until the streetlights flickered on, signaling the time to head home. It was a time marked by a sense of innocence and a belief in the inherent goodness of humanity.

However, as time progressed, societal dynamics shifted, and the landscape of safety evolved drastically. Today, venturing into public spaces often summons a sense of apprehension and vulnerability. Everyday we’re now waking up to reports of violent crimes, including rape and stabbings, that have become distressingly common occurrences in many neighborhoods. NGL, it’s so unfair because the once-familiar streets now seem to be swarming with unseen dangers, and caution has become the watchword of the day. Fear looms large, casting a shadow over even the simplest of outings, as we seize the unsettling reality that we could one day become the next victim of a random act of violence.

The reasons behind this shift are manifold, encompassing factors ranging from socio-economic disparities to the increase of drugs and weapons. Technological advancements have also played a role, as the association of the modern world exposes us to a constant stream of distressing news and sensationalized stories. The erosion of community bonds and the breakdown of traditional social structures have further contributed to feelings of isolation and vulnerability. In this new era, navigating the public sphere requires a heightened sense of vigilance, as individuals strive to safeguard themselves against the ever-present threat of harm.

But what can we do about it???? 

In the face of these contemporary challenges to our…..individual safety, there are several proactive measures that we can adopt to lessen the risks and protect ourselves in our day-to-day lives.

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Below are some that can help us out:

  1. First and foremost, maintaining situational awareness is crucial—being mindful of one’s surroundings and trusting gut instincts can often serve as early warning signals in potentially dangerous situations.
  2. Practicing basic self-defense techniques and carrying non-lethal protective devices, such as pepper spray or personal alarms, can provide an added layer of security.

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  3. Staying informed about local crime trends and taking precautionary measures, such as avoiding high-crime areas or traveling in groups, can help reduce exposure to risk.

Building strong social networks and fostering community connections can also serve as a source of support and assistance during times of need. Ultimately, while it may not be possible to eliminate all threats entirely, being proactive and empowered in one’s approach to personal safety can go a long way in navigating the hazards of everyday life.


Yasa: Neighborhood 

[Source: GETTY Images, Fiji Village, GIPHY GIF’s]