CCU News / Opinion / World

Empower – “What do you do to Protect Yourself?”

Photo by Allie Jamison

This semester, we took the time to interview female students on campus to ask them two questions. What makes you feel unsafe and what do you do to protect yourself.

This week, we will be tackling the question of:

“What do you do to protect yourself?”

“My mom helped my train myself to take measures… If I get followed, I usually have my camera on selfie mode, and it’s used as a way to see who’s being me… I don’t usually carry pepper spray- I carry a knife because I know how to use it as a safety precaution. If I really do feel totally unsafe, I signal someone I know or I call them, saying ‘hey, can you stay on the line?’ To make it clear that I’m talking to someone that way, whoever is following me knows that there’s someone else in my location… I also text my friends and family so they know if I am on or off campus.”

– Lyric A.

“I usually have my pepper spray on hand, or I have it on my belt in a very visible area. I don’t look down at my phone because that makes you a target for predators. And I make sure that if somebody is walking near me or behind me, you have to be brave enough to look them straight in the eye because they are going to want to go after the people that… are more afraid. There’s a study where they asked sex offenders or kidnappers in prison what their targets were, and it was the people that were looking at their phones or wouldn’t look at them. That’s why I would do those things.”

– Anonymous

“If I were outside or somewhere that I’m not familiar with, and I sense there’s a weird or creepy man, I’ll make sure to make eye contact with him, so that way he knows I’m aware of his presence. I also put my mean face on and I’ll look angry, so that he doesn’t want to approach me… I have never felt uncomfortable or unsafe on campus, so I don’t know what I would do if it happened.”

– Anonymous

“If I was alone with the person, I would go to a place where other people are. If I knew the person, I would ask them to leave, or I would talk to them about it. I would say, ‘hey, you are making me feel unsafe. You might not be knowing it, but I just need you to take a step back and what you are doing is making me feel unsafe. If it was a stranger, that is when I would whip out my pepper spray.”

– Hannah B.

“Whenever I see sketchy people, I normally try to distance myself from them. While being normal, just being aware of what people are doing and your surroundings. If I was in a situation where I was in danger, I would play it safe but also be very cautious… I would definitely call someone, especially my dad… and run away if I can.”

– Anonymous

“I stick around people that I know and trust. If I go off by myself, like I walk to work, sometimes I’ll have my earbuds in, but I won’t have them loud enough that I can’t hear what’s going on around me. And if I see someone who is walking near me or behind me, I’ll take at least one earbud out, maybe both, and look around to make sure… and see what they are doing.”

– Anonymous

“To protect myself I keep pepper spray/gel in my car, and I always have my location shared with my family. I don’t park alone at night and if I feel unsafe in a city I wear earbuds without listening to music, that way I’m aware of my surroundings but I look like I won’t hear harassment.”

– Anonymous

“I don’t have a pocket knife, so I usually have to rely on my keys or on my nails, if I happen to have them grown out at the time. If it’s a situation where I feel like I’m being followed, then I usually drive past my house and I let the person behind me turn around first.”

– Anonymous

“I don’t have a pocket knife, so I usually have to rely on my keys or on my nails, if I happen to have them grown out at the time. If it’s a situation where I feel like I’m being followed, then I usually drive past my house and I let the person behind me turn around first.”

– Sydney R.

“Some things I do to protect myself: I carry around pepper spray, and if I’m walking alone at night… this sounds kind of crazy but I kind of make a lot of sounds and kind of try to scare anyone that would try to come attack me.”

– Anonymous

“Usually when I am out in public, I always make sure to have a friend with me- I don’t typically go places alone. I carry pepper spray and always have my phone on me.”

– Anonymous

“I try to not go to places alone. If I do have to go to places alone, I try to be super aware of my surroundings, of who is around me, and where I am.”

– Eden K.

“I mostly have friends around me.”

– Milan H.

“I try to not put myself in unsafe situations. When I need to go to the stores by myself, I go during the day rather than at night. Also, if I do go to the stores, I will put my keys in between my fingers. I also have an alarm alert button in my car that will make loud sounds if I am in an unsafe situation, but I would like to get some mace or pepper spray.”

– Elizabeth E.

“I have done martial arts and I have taken a lot of self-defense classes to know how to protect myself in certain situations. However, I generally try to stay aware of my surroundings to avoid certain unsafe situations.”

– Anonymous

“I go to the gym to get stronger but if I am going to an unsafe environment, I will bring someone else with me”

– Sydney C.

“I don’t take many precautions. I don’t take my own pepper spray or a gun, but I have taken a self-defense class to learn to protect myself.””

– Anonymous

“I like to start my mornings off with prayer, and if I feel unsafe, I will start praying or singing a worship song. And I look around, just to see if what I’m thinking could happen would be able to happen.”

– Anonymous

“I try to not go to too many places alone, especially at night. I also do kickboxing so I know how to protect myself if I am in a bad situation”

– Emma R.

“I usually head to where I see people or light. Or just prepare to do self-defense.”

– Anonymous

Thank you so much for reading this article, please come back to hear more topics! If you do have any topics that you would like us to talk about email Steffanie Abbey ( or Deborah Sifuentes(

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