Freshman Hailey Bosek acquired here to DePaul with no intention of needing a self-protection product, however By The objective she left for winter break she by no means left her dorm with out it.
“My roommate acquired me mace after A particular person harassed me On the Fullerton station and we noticed him at A particular station two days later,” Bosek said. “I carry my mace round my neck hooked up to my lanyard. I really feel a bit shieldedr with it. [Since then] my roommate And that i have decided that we gained’t actually be strolling anywright here previous 10 [p.m.] anyextra.”
Freshman Molly Martindale, Bosek’s roommate, said she carries a Birdie shieldedty alarm and pepper spray To shield herself, and it acquired here in useful when she and Bosek encountered The particular person.
“[We have been taking] the Purple Line to our morning packages Inside the Loop,” Martindale said. “A man Wouldn’t depart [Bosek] alone and stored talking to her and was unnecessarily Shut to her. I moved in between [Bosek] and The particular person To purpose to get him To go away. When the practice acquired here, he acquired on with us and stood over [Bosek] as she sat scrolling on her telephone.” Martindale had her pepper spray In a place To make the most of if needed. She acquired some people To discover The particular person was making them really feel unshielded by displaying her pepper spray. Fortunately, The particular person acquired off the practice after A pair of ceases.
“Although I didn’t use my self-protection merchandise, I felt shielded understanding I had them if I needed To make use of them,” she said.
Martindale said that wright hereas Tright here are A lot of A quantity of Kinds of self-protection merchandise, pepper spray is Definitely one of the biggest product.
“It stuns the attacker And provides you time to get away,” she said. “The product itself stains pores and skin so the suspect Shall be identifiable within a sure Time physique after using the pepper spray.”
Many college students, collectively with freshman Gylani Oliver, agree with Martindale that pepper spray is The one selection for a self-protection product.
“I hate The thought Of injuring somephysique And even probably killing them,” Oliver said. “Pepper spray permits me to blind the particular person and briefly cease them with out really injuring them or somefactor. I don’t actually assume tright here’s A greater self-protection product. Every self-protection product On the market Might go properly with one particular person however be harmful To A particular. It’s Barely Little bit of trial and error in Figuring out what makes you shielded.”
While tright here are options to pepper spray, some Individuals Aren’t as snug using them as a Outcome of they demand you to be Shut to the attacker. Bosek said she prefers pepper spray as a Outcome of She will maintain extra distance.
“I might carry a taser however Which means I’ve to get Shut to the particular person,” she said. “I do know factors like pulling ears, pinching thighs and throwing a pockets away from you and working Might assist. I’ve found This stuff out from completely different womales and Instagram pages that promote feminism.”
Self-protection merchandise have confirmed to be useful To make use ofrs, however most self-protection merchandise are geared in the direction of womales. Bosek said she wants the advertising Would Embrace males too, since They will additionally revenue from self-protection merchandise.
A woman maintains a can of pepper spray. (Maddy Maes)
“It makes me so irritated as a Outcome of it’s seen as a principally feminine problem To maintain round self-protection gadgets,” Bosek said. “That alone carries Tons of nuances about what it means to be a woman Inside The metropolis or anywright here actually. Self-protection is For eachphysique. Any gender Might be attacked and it’s irritating That womales Deal with Shut toly all Of information When it Includes being assaulted or harassed.”
Martindale said she additionally Would actually Simply like the viewers for self-protection merchandise to be expanded.
“I really feel extra people ought to use self-protection merchandise,” she said. “The People that I do know who use self-protection merchandise are all womales. While womales Usually Are likely to be victims of assaults, males nonetheless get attacked on the common. Self-protection merchandise Might assist anyone get out of a threatening state of affairs, or A minimal of reduce The outcomes of a threatening state of affairs.”
Recently, Tright here was growing crime in Lincoln Park and DePaul’s public shieldedty has responded by persevering with their 24-hour standby on each campuses, As properly as to offering their escort service from 6 p.m. To six a.m. While many college students Would actually like An enhanced police presence on each campuses, tright here has not been a discoverable enhance.
Martindale said she really feels comforted by the police presence on each campuses however carries her self-protection merchandise for when she is commuting.
“It does make me really feel shieldedr to know ThOn tright here’s police presence [on the campuses] however I nonetheless carry my self-protection merchandise and maintain Aware of my environment,” she said.
Meanwright hereas, Oliver Would Want to not see An enhance in police presence on campus.
“In all real honesty, I’ve but to see An enhanced police presence on campus and I’m glad,” Oliver said. “Lincoln Park is a majority white neighborhood and tright here’s such a small proportion of African American and Hispanic college students that go right here that An enhanced police presence will do nofactor however make white people really feel shieldedr And completely different people of colour extra focused.”
“The one factor I’ve to say is that wright hereas Tright here’ll On A daily basis be horrible people On the market, Tright here is a distinction between maintaining your self shielded and straight up assuming [or] expressing prejudice,” Oliver added. “Do You’d like to come from out of state and willingly choose Chicago Then you undoubtedly have To understand that wright hereas Tright here’s Tons of crime, not each raggedy-wanting particular person strolling on the sidewalk is making an try to harm you. Not each particular person of colour, particularly Black males, Attempt to rob you or cat name or do somefactor like that. I understand being shielded, however please don’t generalize and make the few people of colour dwelling on campus really feel as marginalized as we already do.”