The times we live in . . . it seems every week we hear news of a woman traveler being assaulted, or worse, while traveling. With viral news stories like that of a woman raped on an American Airlines red-eye flight or TripAdvisor not flagging hotels or tour companies with multiple reports of sexual assault and rape, women are justifiably concerned with their safety when traveling across the world. Add into that all the reports of spying on female travelers by Airbnb hosts, and one really must wonder what in the world is going on.
Today, women are traveling more than ever. While they are not at fault for the sexual assaults, harassment or crimes done against them because of their gender, they do need to be aware of potential threats and exercise appropriate caution. This is unfortunate but, as the U.S. Department of State perfectly puts it “The truth is that women face greater obstacles.”
The most frequent security risks that female travelers face are opportunistic crimes, especially bag snatching, followed by sexual harassment and assault. Although these crimes can occur when not traveling, they are amplified when travelers are in a new location and are unfamiliar with the environment. Looking at maps or asking for directions are beacons to those that want to take advantage of a person. This applies to both genders, but women are much more prone to attacks than men.
Alex Temblador published an article on this subject in Travel Pulse. She insists that what women do before and during a trip can keep them feeling empowered and in control of their own safety. It includes tips for the following:
- What to do Before Your Trip
- Transportation Safety
- Hotel Safety
- What to do While On Your Trip