Personal safety for female nomads and travellers?

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  • Baguetteman never judge until you have walked in another mans ( or womans shoes).
    If a persons gut instincts tells them that someone is about to threaten their personal safety then i say use what ever you can get your hands on to defend yourself.


    Or perhaps the "hippy" way is to lie down and take it up the arse from your attacker then offer him a spliff afterwards.


    Fortunately most folks are decent but when faced with a real threat you havent got time to do a questionaire or interview the person to see if they are a real threat.
    Some circumstances require instant on the spot decision and we are no different in our response to any other animals defending themsleves their young or their territory - Just watch some documentaries.

  • Not sure Manson was a hippy, he wanted to draw people away from the Haight-Ashbury hippy movement and into the arms of his race war movement; Helter Skelter. Hippies had nothing to do with this. He was angry that white women in the hippy movement were dating black men.

    So you're saying, none of the 'family' considered themselves hippies and the general 'let's bum around and start a commune in the valley' was not hippy ideology.

  • Just exercise common sense to ensure your safety


    Unfortunately though just exercising common sense won`t always ensure your safety. I see a big difference between violence and self defence and though we all hope we`ll never need it i think that everyone, hippy or not, should know how to defend themselves.


    The situation that Treestump described would have freaked me right out too and i don`t think it was fair of you to suggest that her reaction to run back to safety was over the top. Gut instinct should never be ignored and if she felt frightened the smartest thing to do was to quickly get out of there.


    Your suggestion to `politely and firmly make it clear that you`re not interested` isn`t going to cut it when a person has violent intentions towards another. Unfortunately there`s no way of knowing what some one else is thinking so often you have to react first..

  • Re carpet spray, I used the stuff all the time in my job, it's not as sticky as you may imagine. Okay for carpets but wouldn't stick hands to face, still better than nothing though. My dear old mum used to carry a small pot of pepper with her when she went out for throwing in the eyes of would be assailants, I guess that would have been effective. What about a Jif lemon (do they still sell them?) for the same purpose, it would have the same effect & cause extreme pain to the eyes long enough for you to make your escape but no lasting damage. Then there is the marker spray stuff, which coats the bad guy with indelible dye. See the link


    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.ht…ray+self+defence&_sacat=0


    It's just a shame that ladies have need of such things in the first place but if they make you feel more secure & will protect you if needed then they are a good thing. Also, in conjunction with the above, if you ever feel threatened, scream & shout at the top of your voice, this should attract attention from any passersby.

    Yesterdays gone, tomorrows a mystery, today's a gift, that's why its called the present.

  • I feel lucky I've never been in this situation and have never felt unsafe or vulnerable in my home (s).
    All the years I lived on the boat I never locked up except if we were leaving overnight and taking the dogs.
    However there was a tiller arm by the back door all the time, not for a weapon but for, well, driving the boat.
    I feel very safe in my flat, the main front door serves me and the downstairs flat and i have my own front door too.
    I also have a big soppy labradors with a bark like a rottweiler so that would put most folk off anyway.
    I am also careful not to place myself in dodgy situations. After dark I only walk my dog in busy housing areas a wouldn't go to the field where we go in the daylight.
    Many years ago when I used to hitch a lot I always wore unattractive clothes and carried a lock knife in my boot. Carrying a stick when you walk your dog is common and useful for many things and as others have said, if you twat someone with a big maglite they're going nowhere for a while!
    I wouldn't recommend carrying any sort of weapon but I would say if you feel the need, get an alarm or a legal pepper spray type thingy.

  • Only situation I have ever been in where this has happened was at a party where a couple of guys were hassling a woman...and her partner.


    Her partner told them to leave her alone and yadda yadda one of those two ended up pushing him. Then the other one tripped him over and the pair of them burst out laughing.


    She ran out to get some help and by the time people had come back her partner had gotten up off the floor and knocked the pair of them out.
    Everyone burst in to find those two out for the count, sleeping like babies and in the recovery position. He'd checked their breathing, pulse etc to make sure they were still alive and left the pair of them to sleep it off.

  • I don't want to offend anyone but I must say I have found this thread, and a related one, depressing. All this talk about what weapons to carry and how to use them and the niceties of the law regarding manslaughter etc. Another thread about 'best of luck mate on your conviction for GBH'. And all this from so-called hippy's? I'm old enough to remember the original (real) hippy movement and it was about peace. Make Love Not War, remember that?
    There is too much violent in the world. FACT. There are probably too many people walking around with weapons in their pockets. We don't need any more.
    Having a siege mentality is not good for you, nor for the people around you whether they be people you know or strangers you happen across. Going around with a weapon likewise. Carry a pen to use as a weapon? A pen? No, do something constructive with the pen. Just exercise common sense to ensure your safety.
    On the subject of women being approached by men, or being on the receiving end of unwanted advances: any woman who is late teens or older must surely have figured out a way of politely (firmly if needs be) making it clear she is not interested without panicking or assuming she's about to be murdered. Allow that there are eccentrics and odd-balls out there who may look or sound a little odd, most are harmless souls, you don't been a knife to deal with them. After all (I don't know what you all look like) but you may well look odd to the average Joe Bloggs in the street.
    Some of the opinions expressed on this thread would be more in keeping with a survivalist/prepper forum than a Hippy forum.
    This isn't the hippy mind-set I know. Shouldn't we be aspiring to a better, friendlier, more peaceful world - and leading by example (for want of a better expression). Go into the world with a smile on your face, not a knife in your pocket.

    I think all in all, we make ourselves vulnerable at times, where and when we park. If you can get by without incident, then great. The mother of my first kid, refused to travel any further, after our friends who were living in a bowtop caravan became victims of a driveby shooting. A shotgun discharged in the direction of their wagon. Ok it was just a piss off/move on warning shot. "We don't like scum bag travellers round here" This was Not kids but land owners. Because we have long hair, I've had demands for our drugs and threats of burn you out when you sleep. How the hell we survive is because we DO play it cool, walk away, think before we park/act. But Brother you are mistaken if you think your peace badge is going to save you if it turns nasty. Over 30 years tinkering around the lanes, woods & fields & not once charged or arrested for violence ABH or GBH

  • The Govt estimate there are 230 rapes each day on average in the UK. Treestump has been regularly making this walk and only once had this experience.

    Quote from BaguetteMan

    any woman who is late teens or older must surely have figured out a way of politely (firmly if needs be) making it clear she is not interested without panicking


    You don't know whether that man that followed her is psychopathic and was wishing to rape. Would you consider lecturing in a similar vein at a rape crises centre to women who've been through hell only a few hours before? Do you think you'd be making the world more peaceful or risking an assault on your person by those whose recent experience is still leaving them raw, freaked and angry?


    I know a number of people who've been raped, including my first wife. May I suggest you go and talk deeply with a friend who's been through that experience and learn how unrealistic and hurtful your advice could be. You must have noticed that a most common frustration/hell afterwards for those that have been raped is those that don't take them seriously or shift blame onto the victim.

  • The Govt estimate there are 230 rapes each day on average in the UK. Treestump has been regularly making this walk and only once had this experience.


    You don't know whether that man that followed her is psychopathic and was wishing to rape. Would you consider lecturing in a similar vein at a rape crises centre to women who've been through hell only a few hours before? Do you think you'd be making the world more peaceful or risking an assault on your person by those whose recent experience is still leaving them raw, freaked and angry?


    I know a number of people who've been raped, including my first wife. May I suggest you go and talk deeply with a friend who's been through that experience and learn how unrealistic and hurtful your advice could be. You must have noticed that a most common frustration/hell afterwards for those that have been raped is those that don't take them seriously or shift blame onto the victim.


    The original post made no mention of rape, nor did I in my post (#27 above). The section of my comment that you have quoted was not referring to rape, so you are misrepresenting what I said. I would be grateful if you would acknowledge your mistake.


    I stand over what I said, such as:


    "I have found this thread, and a related one, depressing. All this talk about what weapons to carry and how to use them and the niceties of the law regarding manslaughter etc."


    "There is too much violent in the world. FACT. There are probably too many people walking around with weapons in their pockets. We don't need any more."
    and
    "Shouldn't we be aspiring to a better, friendlier, more peaceful world - and leading by example (for want of a better expression). Go into the world with a smile on your face, not a knife in your pocket".

  • Treestump I don't know as I've never travelled much but I'm considering whether to do some lone travelling with caravan and I think it's a very good question.


    I'm very sorry to hear about your experience.


    Years ago when I was in a lonely park a man ran up behind me and I heard him and turned round and he said, "Just don't make a noise". I immediately screamed and screamed as loud as I could and he ran off. This put me off going to lonely places and to this day if I hear someone running up behind me my heart starts to pound. Apart from that I've not had a really threatening experience when on my own.


    In my day to day life I always avoid walking in lonely and dark places. People say to me, that these are preferable to going somewhere where there's "rough" people but I don't think so. I think dodgy people probably hang around lonely places looking for victims, like the man who approached me in the lonely park. If you're in a place with lots of people some of them may be okay, and act as potential observers plus there may be CCTV etc and that makes it less likely for people to pick on you.


    Apart from that, I guess I'd do whatever it takes not to irritate anyone and faced with an angry person when you can't escape, speak calmly to them and try to be reassuring, (but don't touch them).


  • On the subject of women being approached by men, or being on the receiving end of unwanted advances: any woman who is late teens or older must surely have figured out a way of politely (firmly if needs be) making it clear she is not interested without panicking .


    Chazz, it has been my experience in life, that both women and men sometimes make 'advances' or 'passes' or try to chat-up (call it what you will) people they find interesting/attractive etc. :). That's how I've met every girlfriend I've ever had. Of course perhaps the majority of these approaches are not welcomed or accepted and in that case most people know how to say 'Thanks, but no thanks'. Have you ever tried to chat someone up and been politely turned down? Voila! That's my point. Nothing whatsoever to do with rape.

  • This thread was started because Treestump was walking in the woods far from other people (a 2 mile sprint back to her car). While there she went off the beaten path to have a piss and found some fat bloke had followed her off the path into a dead end. If you're suggesting that despite her instincts, it is not possible that this bloke was a rape risk, then you're being naive. Rape happens and women have to be alert to the danger of being caught out alone in the middle of nowhere without an escape route.


    Seeing as she'd written that she was still in shock when she posted about it and was clearly scared shitless, you can take it as given that this guys demeanour and behaviour was not that of an eligible male approaching a young lady to politely court with her. If you think its ok for guys to follow and approach women to 'chat them up' when its a potentially scary situation such as being alone in the woods, then I'd suggest you're failing to appreciate the importance of normal boundaries of space, and need to learn how frightening it can be in a world where violence and rape are facts of life.

  • Situation is everything.
    Sometimes I'm walking back through the estate after dark, and might be going along a quiet back stretch when a see a gal walking way in front of me, but I'm catching up on her because I'm walking faster. I'm not exactly a really scary-looking old bastard but I generally cross over the road, so I ain't directly coming up behind her, because that can be scary enough for a bloke, if he's not the self-confident sort.


    This sort of thing should come natural to us, having a little bit of empathy with somebody's situation, trying to see it with their eyes and ears.

  • Chazz actualy made a good point here... to the men and women that are attacked each year...
    Firslty they have to go through the sheer hell of the attack
    Then.... they have to go through a second crime - peoples ignorance in assuming the victim asked for it.


    I tell you something though guys... if i am ever attacked in the future ( and i bloody hope that day never comes for me or for any other member)
    I WILL NEVER DISCLOSE IT TO ANYONE ON ANY FORUM AGAIN.


    This past day or two i dont know who I am more annoyed and upset at... the strange guy down the woods or the shit stirring comments from certain members of this forum


    I suggest you go and talk deeply with a friend who's been through that experience and learn how unrealistic and hurtful your advice could be. You must have noticed that a most common frustration/hell afterwards for those that have been raped is those that don't take them seriously or shift blame onto the victim.

  • Anyway thank you for those of you who have the intelligence to see the situation from all sides.
    and thank you to all of those who put up some good suggestions for personal safety for lone travellers which i think is helpful to both men and women as men are not immune from attacks either.

  • If you're suggesting that despite her instincts, it is not possible that this bloke was a rape risk, then you're being naive. .


    Where in my comments did I 'suggest' that?


    If you think its ok for guys to follow and approach women to 'chat them up' when its a potentially scary situation such as being alone in the woods, then I'd suggest you're failing to appreciate the importance of normal boundaries of space, and need to learn how frightening it can be in a world where violence and rape are facts of life.


    Likewise, I have not said any such thing!
    It is extremely unfair and inaccurate to interpret my comments in this way.

  • Sorry, I realise Chazz is a Moderator but I think he has completely misinterpreted my comments on this thread. Surely the role of a Moderator is to remain detached and impartial. Certainly it should not involve attributing false statements to a user.

  • About the size of a fone with electrodes on one end, fires leccy between them. Wonder if you could claim it was for jumpstarting your van?


    i once made one out of a load of disposable cameras connected together got 110,000 volts and a dead arm from that sucker

  • Sorry, I realise Chazz is a Moderator but I think he has completely misinterpreted my comments on this thread. Surely the role of a Moderator is to remain detached and impartial. Certainly it should not involve attributing false statements to a user.

    Do you not think that, as moderators, we're doing our best to see all sides of the story?


    The issue here is how Treestump interpreted the situation - and that interpretation often comes from a mixture of personal prejudices, personal experiences, socialisation, environment and instinct.


    It doesn't matter whether the dude was a rape risk, a mugger, a forest dwelling pick-up-artist or merely an innocent hiker - the issue here is that she took fright and legged it as she felt threatened. Whether those fears were exaggerated or not don't really matter at this point - she felt threatened, and in all fairness in a lonely forest it's hardly surprising that fears get elevated ... and the 'hiker' should have known this.


    Thing is, Chazz was merely reflecting the fears that many people express when out walking alone - however, in your first response (in the other thread) you suggested she was "wound too tight" and expressed a fear that she would potentially "pull a knife" on you. I'm not sure how judgementally insulting, disempowering and personal you meant to be, or whether you were trying to be helpful in the clumsiest way possible, but is it any surprise she went off at you like she did?


    I'm not saying that she was right to react to you in the way that she did, but you made a lot of assumptions about her state of mind which weren't fair and would potentially get anyone's back up.


    Everyone of us here has their own path, and while you may be all "love, light and cosmic", it doesn't eliminate the fact that people get genuinely scared in certain situations ... Can you not just draw a line under this and accept that your take on personal safety may not be the same as everyone else's?

  • Oh, and for the record I don't think carrying a weapon is a good idea - mostly because it puts you in a defensive state of mind, and that's not the best way to be going through life.


    However, should you have some basic defence skills, whether through martial arts, fencing, boxing or whatever it'll not only increase your confidence, it will also increase your levels of fitness and give you a sharper mind for escaping such situations.


    When I was a teenager I was always getting into scraps, and in all honesty I was an angry, mouthy little fucker who undoubtedly deserved a slap ... when I took up kickboxing I became a shitload more confident and purposeful. I became extremely sure of myself, but also very humble like I had nothing to prove anymore ... and I've hardly had a fight since.

  • Can you not just draw a line under this and accept that your take on personal safety may not be the same as everyone else's?


    Of course I accept that my take on personal safety is certainly not the same as everyone else. But that's a two-way street, my opinion is just as valid as anyone else's, and I don't like my opinion being misrepresented or words put in my mouth. Anyway, this has gone on long enough. I won't be posting on this particular thread again.

  • This is an interesting subject.
    You've won half the battle already because your very aware of the dangers out there.
    Your main defence is in the following areas; awareness, take longer to look at and think about things that are happening around you. Think about these things happening around you and their relevance to you. Example, your walking down a road and a van pulls up a hundred metres in front of you, chances are, it's all normal, but it's also a moment of opportunity for some nutter to drag an unsuspecting victim into the van, through a side or back door. So, this is awareness. Then you have to make a judgement and based on that judgement, have some well thought out actions.
    For making a judgement think of this as a warning that something is wrong; 'the absence of the normal or the presence of the abnormal'.
    When you have all this in place, then you can work on your close defences. This can be phycological and physical which would also include standard precautions such as locked doors etc.
    To fight your way out of trouble, just work on 2 or 3 'missiles(punch or kick)' and learn to do them very well!

  • I have some Filipino Rattan Sticks which a friend kindly got me while over there. They are just normal sticks but i would imagine they deliver some appropriate force when necessary!