As the headline of many news outlets the past week, it is likely you have heard of Samantha Josephson and the circumstances surrounding her murder. A 21-year-old, University of South Carolina student, Samantha got into a car she believed to be her Uber. Instead, it was a violent man intentionally scoping the area for drunk women to pick up. She lost her life that night, and since then, a whirlwind of press has been seemingly trying to figure out who to blame.
Frankly, blaming will not solve anything, and it may be time for other young women to look at this situation critically.
Who cares about your safety the most? You.
Who is responsible for your safety at the end of the day? You.
This can be a difficult pill to swallow, and I am in no way diminishing the brutality of Samantha's death. Instead, I am trying to simply relay reality as it is. I hear individuals blaming her friends, who supposedly left her at the bar after insisting she wanted to stay, or got separated from her by other means. Truthfully, it was not their job to force her out of the bar, stay there with her until dawn, or be watching with hawk eyes at all times. She was an adult, and at the end of the day, they were not responsible for her actions.
Women: we need to be careful, intentional, and responsible when going out like this.
If you intend to get drunk at a bar, have a DD set in stone or another individual at the ready to pick you up. This deviant individual responsible for her death knew exactly what he was doing: he was praying for young women too drunk to be aware of their surroundings. By becoming so intoxicated that you cannot ensure your own safety, you are setting yourself up to become a victim. This does not mitigate the suspect's actions whatsoever, but it gave him the opportunity he was looking for.
This doesn't just go for women either. Men also can be victims of violent crimes when inebriated; vulnerability isn't limited to one gender.
Who you choose to go out with, how many drinks you have, how late you stay out, and how you get home are all choices for you to make; they aren't made for you. Ladies, do not suffer the same fate as young Samantha. If you intend to call a ridesharing service at the end of the night, ensure that you are sober enough to verify the make, model, and license plate of the car. Or, ask the bartender or bouncer to wait with you until the driver arrives. Be aware, be intentional, and do not let yourself become a victim.