10 Tips to Stop the Pervs While Travelling Solo

Recently I got wound right up reading a post by a solo woman traveller.

She wrote about a pervy older guy getting all  up in her face, he was aggressive and started following her from island to island, even staying at the same hostel and in the same dorm (!!!!!!!). The problem was that she was nice to him, answering questions he had no right to ask.

“What was she thinking?”, you ask? Yeah, me too. pervs_by_ava196

When people started pointing out her mistakes in the comments section, she got defensive. Then she shared she’d been raped while travelling before and was scared if she told him to leave her alone he would get mad and rape her. sigh

 

First, major kudos to her for continuing to travelling after such a horrible incident! That folks, is true courage. But but but, not good if you don’t learn some street smarts to protect yourself from the scum of the earth. Now NOT for a minute am I blaming the victim but there are ways to avoid most icky situations with opportunistic predators.

Here are 10 ways to avoid most icky situations with the predators:

1. Sometimes it’s worth wearing a wedding band.

I know we shouldn’t have to but that alone can stop some things from even beginning.

2. Trust your gut.

How many times do we need to hear that before we get it. Politely but firmly shut him down. You don’t have to go all ape shit on his ass but you do need to communicate that you are not interested in further contact.

3. Your voice should always be strong and confident when dealing with strangers.

Bullies are attracted to soft, to them it means easy. If they push, push back with equal strength. But too strong and they think over-reaction = scared and some of them get a thrill out of that.

4. People can ask questions but you don’t have to answer them.  

Do not answer questions like “Are you travelling alone?” “Where are you going?”
Are you kidding me?  From reading her posts, I know she’s sweet and kind but that shit just doesn’t fly all the time. If you answer their questions, their little brains think you’re interested. A good way to deflect and get yourself away without confrontation is to whip out your phone and say, “Sorry i have to answer this” and walk away.

5. He asked her which island she was going to next.

She could have said she was meeting her boyfriend/husband on the next island. Or just say, “I am not comfortable telling you that.” and then walk away. Anything other than what she did say – the truth.

6. The guy told her she looked good in that bikini a few days ago!!!!!!!!!!

That would have been the moment to stare at him hard and then walk away. Don’t think for a minute you have to stand there and take that.

7. When you walk away, go talk to someone, a store clerk, a waitress or a fellow female traveller

Tell them what the guy said and indicate who he is. When the two of you both look at him, he’ll get the message. Not only are you not interested but now he has been called out to other people.

8. If  he escalates things then freak the fuck out and start yelling to quit bothering you.

I know most women would rather get a zit than make a scene but doing it will get you allies and/or witnesses. Neither are good for Mr. Perv.

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freak out and start yelling

9. He got on the plane with her to the next island.

I would have off. I bet if she had gone to the ticket office and explained what was going on they would have refunded her money. Either way, it wasn’t worth taking the risk.

10. When she checked into the hostel he followed her in.

She could have pulled the manager to one side and explained that the man was stalking her and could he recommend another place, or give her a room with a lock, at least. I just can’t believe she was ready to sleep in the same room with the guy alone.

 

The key is to stop it, the sooner the better. The longer you allow it to continue, the harder it will be to end it.

Channel your inner Sarah Connor

Channel your inner Sarah Connor

I know it sucks we have to do these things but we need to protect ourselves as much as possible. I am not advocating that we wear a burka or a nun’s habit, no no no no. That isn’t going to stop shit cause it just turns some men on. I believe the only way we can protect ourselves is to be assertive and confident and get some skills in our arsenal.

Do you have tips I haven’t included?

Do you disagree with mine?

Please share in the comment section below, I’d love to read them. Knowledge is power so share yours.

If you think these have merit, please share on Facebook, you blog or on twitter… you never know who you might help by doing so.

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13 thoughts on “10 Tips to Stop the Pervs While Travelling Solo

  1. Excellent post TC. Some women are shy and softly spoken, and so they should damned well allowed to be! Unfortunately, it does paint a bit of a target on your forehead.

    I think maybe also you could ask the culprits if they would like someone to do this to their sister/mother/cousin, or whatever, as this could maybe help them to see their own actions from a different angle, and it would become a bit more of a reality for them (what they’re actually doing). Being able to directly relate to or apply this in reverse could perhaps jolt their neanderthal brains.

    The first time I was in India, a man sat next to me on a bus (partner was on the other side of me, staring out the window oblivious), and he put his hand on my knee. I didn’t quite know what to do, as we were on a local bus and I was concerned that making a fuss could start some sort of conflict between all the locals and ourselves, and I did not want to put my partner into an aggressive situation. So I just kept shifting my knee, remaining extremely uncomfortable, until thankfully the guy got off the bus a few stops later. In retrospect, I wish I had researched posts exactly like this one before travelling outside my own culture.

    Keep on keeping on. It’s good to see you again.
    Rave

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  2. Pingback: How to Stop the Pervs While Traveling Solo – from Travelling Crone | raveburbleblog

  3. Good advice. I wonder where she was from. It’s easy to be too friendly because you don’t want to be perceived as ‘rude’ but I agree she shouldn’t have let it go as far as she did. You were spot on with the voice thing though. I think that’s one reason not many people mess with me and I traveled solo for a couple of years. The one time I felt uneasy was on a beach in Australia. I went everyday and it was typically empty. Sometimes you want a deserted beach but then feel unsafe when there are a few passing by. One day about 4 guys wandered on and started hanging out way too close to me and my gut told me things were about to get weird. I pretended to get on my phone which seemed to deter them. I stayed a few more minutes until I gathered my stuff up and left. ALWAYS trust your gut!! I grabbed some lunch and went back later, of course they were gone. I also carry mace with me, but I’d rather not have an incident if I can avoid it.

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  4. I think this is an excellent article, with really good information. I absolutely agree on the active approach rather than passive, and in being assertive. If someone is creepy or you get a gut feeling about a potentially bad situation, getting up, moving, changing course and yes scream if need be! Hear hear.

    Its also good to distinguish between harmless cultural stuff …ie guys who shout out “hey chica” or “I love you” as you walk by them on the side of the street ( very common in Latin America to vocally show appreciation for the female form) to a guy who comes too close on a beach, follows you, is inappropriate, puts his hand on your knee in a bus?? No no no. Bring on the zits!

    Peta

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