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On Being A Woman Walking Alone In The Dark

To walk home and fear every shadow, every twist and turn of path. To stay within earshot of a group of men, hoping they will come to your aid if you need it, whilst simultaneously keeping a “safe” distance in the knowledge that they might just be the ones to do you harm. To avoid eye contact with any men who cross your path, even when they angle their bodies at you and try to engage in conversation; years have taught you that your eyes are the only provocation needed. To always check behind you, again and again and again; you know they can pretend to pass you by, but double-back a different man. To hold your house keys so tightly that afterwards, when you are safely home, you always take a moment to examine the little red notches engraved into your palm.

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