The following blog has been submitted anonymously by one of our regular contributors:
By global standards, New Zealand is a very safe country. But bigger cities can feel more dangerous to live in, and it’s okay to feel intimidated if you’re moving to Auckland and will spending much more time alone in a place that may not feel as safe as home. Sadly, women continue to experience violence more often than men, and there are greater risks for women walking alone at night. Here are some ways I’ve found help me feel safer since moving to Auckland:
- Sending my timetable to a family member or friend (both in Auckland and outside) and the address and room number of my residence.
- Keeping my Snapchat location on.
- Telling at least one person what route I take on the way home.
For peace of mind
- If I have class late, I let somebody know and tell them what time I expect to be home.
This can also be your RA if you’re in first-year accommodation.
- Calling someone while walking, or texting to let them know you’re home safely.
- I carry a whistle in my bag. It might seem useless, but it makes me feel a lot better.
- Taking a self-defense class. The University offers a four-week program through the Health and Recreation Center.
- Don’t walk late at night.
- Don’t take isolated shortcuts and avoid darkly lit areas.
- Remember if you hold the side button and a volume button on an iPhone and drag the Emergency SOS, it automatically calls 111.
- You can also download an emergency app, like the My SOS Family Emergency Alert.
- Walk in groups or ask a friend to go with you.
- Getting to know your neighbors and classmates. Building a community means people can accompany you, check up on you, and wait for you or meet you at a halfway point.
Most of the time, there’s no problem, and Auckland is a city to feel safe in. Common sense is important though, and these strategies have helped for peace of mind. This link connects to the University’s resources on how to access services if an emergency does occur. https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/on-campus/student-support/personal-support/student-health-counselling/emergency-information.html It’s better to be safe than sorry. 😊