Just so you know, this is what many women do every time we use a public bathroom alone (for those who even choose to do that) so that we are not attacked, raped, robbed, or otherwise harassed or hurt. Please note we are not in a standing, ready-to-run position while using the facilities, so safety for women in bathrooms is actually an issue in our public spaces. (Note — a woman was sexually assaulted in a bathroom right near this one three weeks ago.)
- Check the outside environment. Identify any threats and possible “helpers,” such as the grandfatherly-guy with the toddler in this video;
- Do a perimeter check of the free-standing bathroom building to be sure no one is lingering;
- Attempt to use the individual-use bathroom (which locks) first;
- If that’s locked or in use, open the door of the main women’s bathroom widely and check behind the door;
- Check all corners and all stalls;
- Use bathroom stall with purse on body (so it can’t be snatched over the door from the hook) and phone handy/ready to dial 911 (I also have a whistle handy.)
- Pee like your feet are on fire so you can get the hell outta there.