2018 How safe is a small town?

by Olivia Van Kooten

olivank19@pceagles.org

While living in a small town we forget the fact that even in a small town there are still many things to be cautious of. With the recent news involving Brooklyn, Iowa, girl Mollie Tibbetts, many question how safe we really are.

According to a recent survey, one third of PC females and one in five males reported feeling threatened when being out with friends, shopping, or when home alone. “Every time I go to fill up on gas, I’m always watchful of the people around me,” said one senior girl. “I try to be observant when I’m outside of school or home because I know people are crazy. We shouldn’t  assume we’re safe in today’s world. I can’t think of a specific time I personally felt threatened but I have plenty of second-hand stories.”

Students  suggested a number of ways to stay safe, including staying out of dark, sketchy areas, locking doors, not being alone, being aware of surroundings, taking self defense classes, praying and carrying pepper spray. Students felt carrying their phones is the best defense from harmful situations. But Tibbetts was within the safety of her own town in an area she had run many times before with her phone, and she was still in a vulnerable situation.  

Students mentioned weapons that could be “helpful” in threatening situations, but unless you have thought out a plan, the weapon could provoke the attacker and be used against you. Technology, however, can be an extremely helpful tool when it comes to enhancing safety.

The LifeLine response app will call authorities the minute your thumb leaves the screen. According to the LifeLine website, it emits an ear piercing alarm and sends out an alert if your phone breaks during the attack. This app is available for about $4.00 a month. A free app is Road ID. It tracks your route and notifies contacts if you stop moving for more than five minutes. Iphones and Apple watches also have an SOS emergency button you can press that will send right away for help.