Since moving to Toronto, I have experienced the freedom to walk about unfettered by fear of attack. I have walked safely not only in broad daylight, but also on lamplit streets unaccompanied by person or concern.
It is not only myself who has experienced this freedom. My husband, who was attacked a few times on the streets of Johannesburg, walks down the roads of Toronto with no thought of repeating the experience. I am comfortable with my daughters walking to the library or to school on their own. In South Africa my husband and I would have insisted that we drive them everywhere. No parent there allows their young daughter to walk even to the nearby shops without an adult.
Even though there is a certain freedom to walking the streets in Toronto, I still warn my girls to be wary. Through example, I show them the importance of walking down well-lit streets and choosing busy streets for their route. I tell them of safety alerts given by the schools, and explain to them the importance of thinking of their own safety.
I do feel a sense of freedom from crime since living here. My habits, though, have been created in a country that isn’t crime-free. And sometimes old habits die hard.
If you have missed any of my Migrating North posts, head on over here.
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
(This post was written for the FMF 31 day challenge hosted by Kate Motaung. Today’s prompt is: free)