How To Be Street Smart As A Woman In Los Angeles

gigi hadid

Better safe than sorry!

Do you leave your purse in your car?

Do you jog by yourself late at night?

Do you let strangers buy you drinks without going with them to the bar?

If you do, you're doing it wrong.

Ladies, I'm going to hit you with some hard facts. According to the LAPD, violent crime--things like robbery, assault, and rape--is up 13.4% since last year. Property crime rose by approximately 10% also; you know, the more casual burgarly, theft, and car break ins. What can we do to fight it? Well, here's one solution, girl: let's empower ourselves with some street smarts.

You've eaten totally shitty all day, it's 9pm, and you really feel like going for a jog. Runyon Canyon, Lake Balboa, The Strand, Palisades Park, Fryman. Los Angeles is known for it's great hiking trails. However, if you're going to hike at night, it's important to stay safe. Go with a friend or a group of friends. Text people beforehand to let them know that you're going. Share your location with a friend on your iPhone! Also, pepper spray IS legal in Los Angeles, and they even make some that is bedazzled if you're into that sort of thing. Bring it with you on your hike (and everywhere for that matter, especially that Tinder date.)

If you're taking an Uber, take a screenshot of the driver's information and share it with a friend. You can take a picture of the car's license plate as well.

Additionally, think of downloading the Companion App for your iPhone, which allows you to share your location with a friend as they track your commute from point A to point B. CNN explains, "the app uses the phone's built-in sensors to detect changes in movement -- like if the user starts running or the headphones come out. If that happens, the app asks users to confirm that they're OK. If they don't do so within 15 seconds, the app notifies your companion who has the option to call the police. At the same time, the app will also go into alert mode for the walker, emitting siren-like noises and displaying a button to also call the police."

If something is nice during the day, it doesn't mean it's nice at night. I'm talking about you, Venice Beach! Although Abbot Kenny and the Venice Boardwalk are perfectly charming circa brunch time, they can get incredibly sketchy come nightfall. Ladies, if it's after 8pm, I'd avoid the beach in general. You don't REALLY need to go to that drum circle, do you? And if you're cruising the bars on Abbot Kinney, make sure you're with some friends.

Speaking of which, let's talk bar and club etiquette. Unfortunately we live in a world where roofies are a real thing. We can't pretend it's not happening; be vigilant. Don't leave your drink unattended, and if someone is buying you a drink, make sure you go with them to the bar and watch it get poured. If you see that someone's drink might have been roofied, report it to the bartender or bar owner immediately.

And one thing that is great about LA: malls! Malls, malls, and more malls. But if you love the Grove, Americana, Beverly Center, and Century City, make sure you're being safe in the parking structures. Always lock your car door. When walking back to your car, especially if it's night, make sure you take your keys out first. And, if you see a white van parked next to you, go find a security guard to escort you to your car. Better safe than sorry.

You live in the most beautiful city in the world. Trust your gut. It's always better to be safe than sorry!

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