Should a girl go home alone

Safety for girls: that's the advice of the expert

Safety for girls: that's the advice of the expert

It's always a bit scary on the street in the evenings. It is a real nightmare, especially for girls, when you also have the feeling that you are being followed. How can a woman help herself in such a situation? Mädchen.de spoke to Andrea Kleim, chief detective and commissioner for women and children at the Munich police headquarters. Plus: In the gallery you will find tips on how to be safe as a girl! We are also showing a great short film in which the French filmmaker Maxime Gaudet wants to show how depressing and uncomfortable it is for women to be walking through the streets alone at night.

In the videoAu bout de la rue " ("At the end of the road") a young woman says goodbye to her friends and walks home alone at night. Of course, guys talk to her, sometimes even insult her - the woman's breath becomes faster. Depressing, but very impressive, this clip shows how a woman feels. The filmmaker wanted to make it as realistic and cold as possible. Must see!

Interview on self-defense with Andrea Kleim

Incidents on the street or on public transport are relatively rare, aren't they?
Yes, most of the attacks take place in familiar or familiar surroundings. From someone from whom you would never suspect anything like that.

A girl walks home in the evening feeling like someone is following her. What should she do?
In any case, change the side of the street and see if you are being followed at all. If so, the best thing to do is to go to a gas station or a kiosk and, if necessary, have your parents pick you up. If you feel insecure, the best thing to do is to call a friend and talk to her while you run, because this way the stranger knows that you are not alone and your friend can always call for help. In an emergency, always dial 110. If the whole thing turns out to be a misunderstanding, nobody is angry! Better to call once too often than not to do it once and then be in danger.

What happens if I choose 110?
You should definitely state where you are and what happened. Then a police car will be sent to you. Most of the time, someone stays on the phone with you too, so you don't feel alone. Then you definitely feel safer.

What should you definitely avoid when feeling persecuted?
Running away rarely helps, because you can often be caught up easily. It is better to always think of the "three L’s": light, noise and people. Such places should be visited rather than trying to hang out the other person in dark alleys. You should also not overestimate yourself and think that you can overwhelm the other person.

Pepper spray and help in public spaces

How should I deal with pepper spray and what should I do if I feel observed, followed or even harassed?

Does it make sense to have a pepper spray with you or should it be avoided? If so, what are good alternatives?
We generally advise against pepper spray because there are some legal problems with it and is actually only approved for animal defense. If necessary, you can of course defend yourself with it, but it is not easy to use and can always be used against you. We prefer to use the so-called "shrill alarm", which makes a very loud noise and thus scares off the attacker. Otherwise you can always use everything you have with you, keys in your fist or your bag.

Many counselors state that if you are persecuted, you should not go to your home, because the persecutor will then know where you live. Is this also advisable for children and adolescents who still live with their parents?
Usually no one is chasing you for targeting you, just an easy target. That's why you can go home already, although of course the unsafe feeling then remains. But if you are still further away, then it is better to go to a shop or a pub - even if you wouldn't go in there otherwise - there will be someone who will help you.

Even if you're just stared at on the train, that's pretty scary, should you take action against it or should you just walk away?
First of all, you should sit down strategically well. Closer to the driver on the bus or with a group of friendly people. Sometimes it is even better to stand still and stand next to an emergency call switch, because you can use it to call help quickly - also for others.

Acting confidently is also one of the good defense techniques?
Exactly. Appearance is very important. If you make yourself small and sit in a corner, then you make yourself much easier to attack than if you sit confidently with your back straight and look at your fellow passengers from time to time.

How do you get the attention of passengers when you are bullied on the train or bus and need help?
You should definitely see the person who bothers you, because otherwise the passengers get the impression that it is a private problem that you should not interfere with. Otherwise, it always helps if you address people directly. Otherwise nobody feels responsible. "You, with the blue jacket, please call the police" also helps in the sense that you give a task straight away and thus make it easier for others to act.

Do you feel persecuted on the street or harassed on public transport? In the gallery we tell you how you can best behave and protect yourself from attacks!

Safe on the move