Read­ers weigh in with sug­ges­tions for stay­ing safe af­ter dark

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - MAU­REEN SCURFIELD

DEAR READ­ERS: Help­ful mail has poured in with tips for Evening Shift Ter­ror, the woman who got off the bus at a very late hour com­ing home from work, and was scared stiff when her neigh­bour and dog came up be­hind her, and then of­fered her a safe walk home. Here are their sug­ges­tions:

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: As a good boss in a work­place that also re­quires some em­ploy­ees to work late, I find a safe way for that em­ployee to get home, whether it’s find­ing a ride with an­other em­ployee or pay­ing for a taxi to safely get them home as soon as it gets dark, and es­pe­cially if I know those em­ploy­ees live down­town or the North End. Read the labour laws on­line. Know your rights. If you can’t find an­other safe way home late at night, get your em­ployer to help you find a safe way home. — Em­ployer Who Cares, Win­nipeg

Dear Em­ployer Who Cares: The Man­i­toba Labour Board says reg­u­la­tions state all em­ploy­ers must help with “op­tions” for safe ways home for peo­ple whose shifts end be­tween midnight and 6 a.m., such as em­ployee car­pools or peo­ple pick­ing them up, or even pro­vid­ing a bus sched­ule. But, they are not ob­li­gated to hire cabs to get ev­ery­body home dur­ing those hours.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Tak­ing a self-de­fence course would help em­power you as well as keep you safer. Day or night, be more aware of your sur­round- ings, who is around you, where you could go for help and what you could do. Af­ter my self-de­fence course, I was sur­prised to learn that men were ac­tu­ally fol­low­ing me in broad day­light. Walk with con­fi­dence and even if you are scared, don’t show it. No one wants to touch a pissed-off cat ready to scratch your eye­balls out. Learn your area, have a safe place to go mid­way — 24-hour store or a neigh­bour that knows if he hears knock­ing at 3 a.m. there is dan­ger. If some­one wants your wallet, throw it in the op­po­site di­rec­tion and run! I even go as far as call­ing a friend or pre­tend­ing to be on the phone and say things like, “Yup, I’m al­most out­side your house, do you see me? Is the whole gang there?” That saved my life one time, when I was out of town in a bad area. — Want­ing To Help

Dear Want­ing To Help: Noth­ing like the voice of ex­pe­ri­ence — thanks for writ­ing.

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