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Most parents are apprehensive when saying goodbye to a young adult who has decided to study or work away from her home. There are a million questions that buzz in their minds about safety, social implications, as well as health worries. The young woman has a dream of making it big, being independent and strong but needs to be aware of the dangers of living away from home. Some safety tips for girls to follow:
Finding a safe place to stay
Large cities that are unfamiliar to you can be intimidating. It is not always possible for parents to travel with you to help you get settled. The first step is to study the city you are planning to live in. There are many trusted sites that will give you an idea of what to expect. You can look for safe neighbourhoods and then proceed to look for accommodation.
There are many options available when we look for places to stay. You may be looking for an apartment, a shared flat, or even a Paying Guest option. They all have their own advantages and disadvantages. The safest being the paying guest option as there will be other girls staying there too, and there is always safety in numbers.
If you are looking to stay alone do look for a landlord with a family and for a residential area which has a good neighbourhood. Markets and busy areas are generally safer as you will not be singled out while you commute. Change the door locks, get a CCTV installed outside the flat and do not share your address more than required.
Staying safe at work
The #MeToo movement has brought into focus many sexual harassment cases into the limelight. These incidents are more common than we think. You must learn to stay safe. There are predators in the workspace who might bully a fresher for undue favours, or a boss who is over friendly or even colleagues who can be on the lookout to exploit a new entrant. Be quick to read the signs and keep your distance from these people.
Do not share social media passwords and keep a low profile to avoid being labelled. It is a good idea to keep yourself limited to work, as often workplace friendships can lead to exploitation on the social, professional and personal fronts.
Safety while commuting
Young women are prone to harassment and eve-teasing while commuting. The problem becomes worse when it is a late night commute. It is advisable not to travel alone at night, use well-lit roads and trying not to go out late at night. Going to parties and nightclubs that may require travel in an inebriated state at a late hour should be avoided. Other alternatives to stay safe is to learn Martial Arts, carrying pepper spray or carrying a sharp weapon like a penknife, that may give you a few minutes to reach a safe place.
The practice of using an app based cab like Uber or Ola may add to the safety factor. These cab aggregators have a strong SOS system and the location sharing feature makes them a relatively safe alternative, even at night. Download apps like Safetipin, Watch over me, Family locator and location sharing if you are travelling alone. These apps can help pin your location and allow you to send a SOS and may make the difference between safe and unsafe.
Your personal choices and lifestyle may also be a source of worry if not managed carefully. It is always advisable to have good friends, to not stay out too late, avoiding any kind of intoxication to keep trouble away.
Most young adults are sexually aware and if not with a regular partner, you may be using masturbation as an outlet for your sexual urges. Although masturbation in itself is not harmful, living alone may tempt you to indulge excessively. This may lead to multiple problems like injury due to aggressive rubbing, withdrawal from normal activities, refusing intimacy from a partner, and the constant urge to pleasure yourself. This may be bad for your mental health too!
Although it is quite in vogue, it is better to stay away from live-in relationships as they may be detrimental to your emotional and social environment too. If you are truly committed to each other, it is a better option to get married when you are ready. Casual flings and relationships may lead to problems like depression, loss of confidence and in worst case scenarios, maybe debilitating and even force you to discontinue staying away from home.