On Her Own

Personal Safety

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Losing on your own terms

All of us come to the personal safety and self-defense world for different reasons. Some of us have been targeted by violence, or know someone who has. Some of us have seen it first-hand or in the news. Some of us came to be interested more academically, knowing it exists in theory but perhaps not

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Talking with strangers: public transportation edition

Public transportation is one of the odd places we spend time with strangers. On the surface, the only thing we know we have in common is that we are going from one place to another. We might not have started at the same origin point, and we might not be ending up at the same

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Why it’s good to be a news junkie

As I have some things going on in OHO-land, we’re rerunning today. If you’ve been with me long enough to remember this post from two years ago, thank you! And if not, I’m glad you joined me in the meantime 🙂—How many of you check in on your local news on a regular basis? I’m

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How to be harder to find

Have you ever thought about who can find out where you live, what your phone number is, and other details of your daily existence? For many people, it’s not terribly important who knows these things, as long as nobody gets too creepy about encroaching inappropriately. What that looks like is a little fuzzy to those

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The power of apology

A video has been floating around this week, of a man who was shot by his neighbor in a parking lot outside their homes. He was being dropped off by a friend and coworker, who had pulled his truck into the neighbor’s assigned parking spot. As his wife came out with their newborn infant to

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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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