Women now feel far more at risk walking home alone at night than they did two decades ago, and more say their neighborhoods are unsafe or hostile than in the 1990s, according to a new survey by the National Public Radio/PBS series “All Things Considered.”
In 1994, 25 percent of women were as likely to feel safe walking at night as their male peers, according to the poll. The number fell to 12 percent by 2016, a 43 percent decline that NPR attributes in part to bias against police officers, who are the ones most often seen as treating women more favorably, the polling found.
NPR described the decline in safe walking to the Washington Post:
“Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that nationwide in 2015, there were nearly 3,500 pedestrian fatalities. By contrast, the agency’s data show that in 1991, the last year before full enforcement of U.S. anti-lock brakes, there were just 2,400 deaths on the roads. The explosion in pedestrian deaths is in sharp contrast to the 2008 economic downturn, when road deaths dropped to a 16-year low.”
NPR also noted that peer pressure and social media have made it more difficult for many women to keep those feelings from their partners and friends.