Women tell their stories
A few days ago, Gao Yu’s mother lost her daughter forever. The 20-year-old female student from Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications was found dead on Aug 19 after she took an illegal cab. On Aug 26, Gao Qiuxi, a sophomore female student in Nanjing lost contact with her family, according to Suzhou Daily.
These incidents have initiated a discussion about protecting female students. “Awareness and having a certain set of skills are important factors in females students protecting their security,” said Chen Huijin, an associate professor at People’s Public Security University of China.
Female students must take certain precautions in order to handle potentially unsafe situations. Here, we lay out three examples of what to do in specific situations.
Song Ting, 19, a humanities student at Tsinghua University, considers school a safe place. This all changed late one afternoon. While she was walking home near the library along a river, she noticed a strange man following her.
She walked in a zigzag motion, but she couldn’t lose the stranger.
“I was very afraid, as there weren’t many people around,” she said. Finally, she picked up the pace and got rid of the man on a packed street.
Chen says Song’s approach was right. In the event a crime was committed, surveillance cameras would have collected footage. But the best option would have been to call a friend or the school’s security department. “If a man directly harms you, just call the police,” said Song.
Sexual harassment can also be a problem for female students.
According to a survey conducted by the Guangzhou Women’s Federation in June, 90 percent of female college students experience sexual harassment.
Wang Siying, 22, a graduate student at the University of International Business and Economics, was once accosted on the bus. At around 9 pm, a strange man followed her around for an hour asking for her QQ number. Wang was afraid and kept shaking her head. Finally, the man left. “I was really relieved when he ran away.”
Chen suggests staying on the bus is the wisest choice in this situation, as there are cameras and witnesses on board. Plus, you can always give someone the wrong number. If there is any obvious sexual contact between a culprit and a victim, the victim can call the police.
Unlike Song and Wang, Sui Xin, 25, a graduate at China Agricultural University, knows how to defend herself. She even goes hitchhiking across Xinjiang.
But she’s also heard some horror stories. A friend hitched a ride from Sichuan to Tibet, but after two days on the road, the driver attempted to sleep with her. Her friend fled to safety.
“This made me more cautious about hitchhiking,” she said. Sui reads travel books regularly and keeps in touch with other travel enthusiasts. According to Sui, keeping a low profile helps you stay safe. On trains she’ll wear a hat and sport clothes with no makeup, and she dresses like locals at her destination.
As for traveling, Chen says girls should never leave without at least two friends.