Recent crimes should serve as reminders to stay alert, not to stay naïve.
In 2007, there were approximately 2.6 reported rapes per day in Philadelphia.
According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports for that year, there were also 392 homicides and 9,574 aggravated assaults.
These staggering numbers of violent crimes alone speak for themselves – Philadelphia can be a dangerous place. But, although we should, we don’t think about this throughout our daily routines. There is so much beauty, culture and fun to experience, especially for college students, in the city that we often forget the type of world we live in.
The attack and attempted abduction of a Temple student this week, however, should be a wake-up call for all of us.
Granted, the victim in the situation should never have agreed to help a man she didn’t know when doing so required her to approach his vehicle. It’s one of the first safety tips any person learns as a child, especially as a young girl. Never talk to strangers, and never, ever go near anyone’s car.
But are we vigilant enough? And when does vigilance cross the line and prevent us from living our lives? Can we find a balance?
If our fellow student hadn’t been quick enough to escape her attacker’s car, anything could have happened. And while the experience she suffered will likely change her life forever, it could have been much more severe.
When university students – especially female students – are out on the streets of Philadelphia, every second of awareness and precaution counts. As students, we need to look out for ourselves and each other.
Many Temple students come from places outside of Pennsylvania, and they need to understand and respect that this city, whether you’re in Strawberry Mansion or Bella Vista, is just that – a city. And with that title comes some of the most prevalent, most violent big-city crime in the U.S., and it’s not something to ignore.
The next time you’re even tempted to think, “It won’t happen to me,” remember: You just can’t trust people you don’t know. Put simply, you can’t afford it. Your life is too precious to your family, your friends and most importantly, yourself.
The victim of last week’s abduction at TUCC was perhaps not being skeptical enough of others to protect herself, a habit we all need to begin practicing on a regular basis. Our lives may depend on it.