On Her Own

Personal Safety

Recent Stories

Safety from without and within

A year ago this week, I published an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer that explored how who I am can contribute to my vulnerability to violence and unpleasantness. It’s disturbing to realize that bad things can happen to people who are like us in some way, to us, but it’s even more disturbing when we

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Subway active shooter: what you can do

The news cycle moves fast, but one of the big ones this week was the mass shooting in the NYC subway system a few days ago. It was a worst-case scenario in many ways: a busy commute time, a crowded subway car en route between stations, smoke bombs affecting visibility, and a gunman spraying bullets

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How to be rude

We all know the standard safety tip offered to women: don’t be afraid to be rude. If we want to refuse a request, if we want to leave a place, if we object to being touched, then we have the right to say no and we don’t have to be nice about it. It’s a

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Little boxes all the same

“Good girls don’t…” We’re all familiar with the stereotypes, and the social conditioning that creates and reinforces the behaviors that make up those stereotypes. They’re not limited to gender roles, though, and today I’m thinking about how similar types of stereotypes and conditioning can affect other groups, sometimes subjecting individuals to even more outside forces

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When you’re targeted for what you look like

It’s been almost exactly one year since I posted the below and sadly, not much has changed. We are still seeing high-profile attacks against Asian Americans, and we are still seeing gaps in effective self-defense that takes into account the unique social and cultural experience of Asian Americans. I’ve started putting more work specifically into

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She is me and I am she

Last weekend, Christina Yuna Lee was followed into the building where she lived, into her apartment, where she was killed with a knife from her own kitchen. She’d gone to the same college I had, half a dozen years after me. Last month, Michelle Alyssa Go was pushed into the path of an oncoming train.

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How to give and receive unsolicited self-defense advice

On Her Own is very much about self-protection and the universal pursuit of safety and security, whatever that means to an individual. I believe strongly that we women have the agency and ability to defend ourselves. We might need support believing that we are worthy of protection in our most secret thoughts, and we will

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On life and risk

Life is dangerous. We all do things that risk our lives, our health, our finances, our hearts. Even those of us who try to prioritize safety above all else occasionally have to stick our heads out the door. As for the rest of us, well, adrenaline is the spice of life. They can be little

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Workplace violence: Philly edition

Last week, a woman working in a Philadelphia (not the one in the photo) was brutally attacked, beaten to death by metal pipes. She was at work where she represented the landlord of office spaces in the building, reportedly sitting at a receptionist’s desk, and her attacker was a tenant. A motive is unclear, perhaps

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The new viral crime trend: AirTags

Tracking devices like the Apple AirTag have gotten increasing attention recently, as a tool used by malicious actors to track unsuspecting victims. It’s not the first device able to do what it does – there are Tiles and other similar products out there. Nevertheless, anecdotal reports and news stories abound, with breathless tales of an

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