Women move all the time; they move across town or across the country for school, work, and pleasure. Many women move safely, run into no trouble, and never feel threatened. Unfortunately, from the point of view of statistics, women are more likely to be assaulted or injured than their male counterparts. This is especially true for single women.
If you are a single woman undertaking a move, whether it’s over a short distance or a long one, there are a number of tips you can use to make sure you stay safe.
During the move:
- Make sure to hire reputable movers on both sides of your trip. Look for reviews and ask for references to make sure that you’re going to be working with people you can trust.
- If possible, avoid driving a moving van over long distances yourself. A moving van is a more obvious target than a passenger vehicle, even if the passenger vehicle is packed full. Consider hiring a company that will pick up your packed items and drive them to the destination.
- Travel during daylight. Get going early and make sure to stop somewhere safe before it’s fully dark. Your trip might take an extra day or two, but it’s worth it.
- Stay in touch with friends as you go. Consider having set checkpoints; you’ll text someone every few hours, for example, as well as when you get on the road and when you stop for the night.
- Make sure your valuables, like your laptop case or jewelry box, aren’t sitting right on top of your stuff in the passenger’s seat. Having your items more discreetly packed can cut down on how much thieves notice you.
- Be careful when you enter and exit your car. Always have the vehicle locked right away, even if you think it will be in sight the entire time you’re out of it. It only takes a few moments for an assailant to get inside.
- Moving can put you at risk for identity theft. If you will be unable to check your mail for a length of time, you should forward your mail to the new address or have it held.
Moving as a single woman may not be specifically dangerous, but it is a situation where taking extra precautions can help you stay safe and avoid trouble. On long, solo road trips, a number of things can go wrong, and planning ahead to avoid dangers helps keep the risks at bay.
Once you’ve gotten to your new location and your items are unpacked, there are a number of other specific factors to consider.
- How safe is your apartment building or neighborhood? Statistics online can give you an idea of how much risk you might be facing; in an ideal world, you would have checked these out before you planned your move. Now that you’re in the area, knowing exactly what the risks are is crucial.
- Consider home security devices. Wireless cameras and home monitoring are becoming less and less expensive as smart homes get more common. Look for ways to incorporate that technology into your living space.
- Change all the locks. You never know who has made copies of previous keys. This is a good idea even if you’re living in a single family home that was shown to you by a realtor. Knowing that you’re the only one with a key to your house is just good for your peace of mind.
- In an apartment building with shared mailboxes, consider how to list your name. Listing yourself as your first and last name can easily identify you as a single woman, which can again put you at risk. Using your first initial and last name can help, but if you’re the only one in the building doing it, someone might assume again that you’re a woman trying to disguise her living situation. In that case, you can use both your first and middle initial as A & B Smith, for example.
- Use your peephole. Never open your door to someone who you don’t know. Ask for identification from police officers and other officials. Cover your door’s mail slot.
- Keep in touch with someone daily. Whether it’s a quick good morning text or a nightly phone call, have someone who will notice if you aren’t in contact.
- Secure windows and sliding glass doors with locking devices. The standard locks on these points are easily opened from the outside; devices online can help protect you further. It won’t stop someone from breaking the glass, but that increases the chance of their being noticed, and they are likely to move on to another target.
When you are a single woman, safe moving requires a little more planning. Getting into your new home safely, however, is absolutely possible; just spend some time preparing.