Helping New York's Women Feel Safe

The Problem

I am currently a college student in Brooklyn, New York. As is often the case in Brooklyn and Manhattan, unless you have money, it is difficult to get into a reasonable neighborhood to live in. I have been self-supported for quite some time now, and have always lived in interesting neighborhoods, to say the least. I never truly felt threatened until an occurance that took place last December. I was coming home from my job late at night. Naturally, as a waitress, I usually got out of work around 1 or 2 in the morning on weekends. I decided to take a cab home because waiting for the subway didn't seem smart by myself at that hour. However, as is usually the case, the cab driver was angry he had to go into Brooklyn and when he saw he had to turn around to get on the one way street where I lived, he refused to go any further and left me a few blocks away. As I was walking home, I was followed and assaulted by a man, I am assuming, on some sort of drugs. He pulled a knife on me and asked me for all of my money. Naturally, I gave him what I had and he let me go. As I was extremely scared that this might happen again, I bought a car. I didn't want to deal with the possibilities. After all, I might have lost some money, but it could have been much worse- he may not have let me go at all. I notified the police right away, but they didn't seem to get anywhere on the case and I felt that something needed to be done. There are many single women all over New York city who could become victims and, after talking to my friends, have become victims. We decided that we should start a program that would help women get home safe at night. We designed business cards and put ads out in local papers and on bulletin boards all over Brooklyn telling women to call me & 4 other of my friends with cars for rides home if they were desperate at night for a ride and couldn't get a cab- which anyone in the boroughs knows can always be an issue. We do not charge them anything, so if they find themselves in a sticky situation, they just have to call. Many people spread the service by word of mouth. We usually try to take turns giving rides depending on the area and who has work in the morning, etc. We have given many women rides on weekends, especially. It is not a massive organization, but we feel that we are making a difference as best we can so that this doesn't continue to happen. We also have a system built in that we have cleared through a trusted car service where they offer discounted rates if for some reason one of us can't give them a ride.

Plan of Action

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