Many people – including women – are worried about venturing in the wilderness by themselves. They think they will get hurt, raped or assaulted when they’re by themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Sadly, there is no database for crimes committed in the wilderness and sexual assault often goes unreported. But still, the amount of violent deaths versus the amount of visitors in parks show us that national parks are notoriously safer than many other parts of the country.
Your risk of being the victim of a violent crime is thousands of times lower in a national park than in the United States as a whole.
Of course, hiking alone brings certain risks, whether you’re male or female. According to dbS Productions, who maintains a database on search-and-rescue incidents, only 9% of female hikers who kick off a search-and-rescue case don’t make it out alive, compared to 12% of men. This means that women who get lost while hiking are more likely to make it out alive.
Women report much higher levels of fear and violent crime than men do, even though they have a lower risk to become a victim of such crimes. This is called the fear-gender paradox. It has been ingrained in women’s mind to feel afraid from a young age, and thus it is very natural for them to feel this way.
In reality, women are likely to experience sexual violence from someone they know, instead of a strange man lurking in the woods. According to this report, nearly half (46.7 percent) of women who experienced rape in their lifetimes knew at least one of their perpetrators as an acquaintance.
It is natural for women to feel this way, but looking at the statistics, there is little reason to be scared to go hiking by yourself. Get out and enjoy some alone time!