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An Overview of The Safest and Most Dangerous Cities for Women in the US

Violence against women has been a pervasive part of our society for thousands of years.

Knowing where is and isn’t safe for women to live is an important way to empower the women who do have the privilege to choose where they live. While no city in the world can be deemed completely safe to live in, it is true that there are spaces where the risk of violence is lower than others, and the quality of daily life can be better as a result.

In an effort to shed some light on the safest spaces for women to live, we have analyzed FBI data to identify both the safest and most dangerous cities for women to live in in the US.

Why We Think It’s Important

As home security providers, we are passionate advocates for everyone’s safety and helping create a sense of security in homes across the globe. We’ve learnt a lot from our users, and it’s clear that not everyone’s security needs are exactly the same, not least of all the needs of women.

Two middle-aged women laugh together on a park bench

In Their Own Words: Women on their Safety Concerns When Choosing Somewhere to Live

To kick start a discussion on what kind of things women consider when looking for somewhere to live, we asked friends and family of the AlfredCamera team what came to mind.

We’re a global team, so opinions came from Europe, America, and Asia. The initial response was almost unanimous—choosing somewhere to live is a complicated process that is defined almost exclusively by money.

‘Money is always a concern.’ 

The cost of property, whether buying or renting, has a mutualistic relationship with a whole host of factors: crime rates, poverty rates, school catchment areas, transport links, and a place’s reputation, just to name a few.

When money is something one has to consider (as it is for most young women making a living independently in urban areas) the ‘choice’ to live somewhere safe becomes narrower and narrower. Naturally, then, there isn’t always the choice to live in the ideal location.

‘Never, ever, ever all male.’

Something else that struck us was that everyone shared virtually the same opinion on men—there was a resounding ‘no’ to the prospect of living in an all-male household.

Likewise, the presence of young families, good transport links, and adequate public lighting were all pointedly linked to the presence of men causing feelings of ill-ease, fear, and an overall lack of safety, particularly at night time.

‘I think I’d base it on families as well. Like, if it’s a residential area where people are raising children, it will make me feel happier.’

‘Good transport links are important, especially after a night out because if I am traveling alone I want to get back quickly. So I’d like to live near a bus stop or station.’

‘I always think: would I feel safe walking home at night?’

‘No walking in the dark for too long.’

Two hands with pinkies crossed

Some of the women we chatted to said they would check crime statistics, specifying rape stats. One person said that they checked crime stats before moving to San José, Costa Rica from South London, UK, comparing the statistics to ‘see if [they] could handle it.’

‘I checked all types of crime but the ones I cared about most were muggings and serial assaults.’

Much like transport links, shops being nearby was another important factor, with one person saying that a corner shop would have to be within at least a three minute walk for them to even consider moving into a property.

Cultural and community points were raised by just a few.

‘As a black woman, the nearest hair shop or black community space is important.’ 

‘Being able to make friends is important.’

‘Close proximity to family (my children) is important. I wouldn’t choose to go somewhere really remote.’

What’s clear is that, across the board, safety was the concern that rose above all other considerations, and the urgency for this need was clearly linked to male-commited crime. One person ranked safety first, transport second, and food third in terms of how she would prioritize her needs when moving.

A Word from Our Users: Their Stories

We believe that dialogue about safety issues with our users is important because it helps us to better understand the specific needs of different groups of people. Some of our users that identify as women have graciously shared some stories about living in domestic violence shelters with us, which you can check out below.

I was living in a domestic violence shelter, with my service dog and child last summer. I noticed things of mine were going missing. Headphones, tablet, cell phone and money. Spare change essentially. I had used Alfred in the past to watch over my pet if he were home alone or when my child was napping. I set Alfred up in a front pocket of a flannel shirt. It was hanging in the closet but had a perfect view of my nightstand and dresser. I put some cash in my top drawer and mentioned I hope it doesn’t go missing… I left for a walk. Within a few minutes I caught the thief on film and alerted the main office. I hate thieves, especially when you are all alone and scared in an unfamiliar place. I fled my abuser and had almost nothing just like all the other women there. Horrible person who steals. She was told she had to leave, and from then on there was not another problem.’

Alfredcamera_home

‘Well, I’m a single mother of two toddlers. I’m currently living in a domestic violence shelter for men and women. It’s already difficult to be a single mother in a regular home, but to be one who can’t take herself away from her kids makes it even more stressful. I’m a severe insomniac and a cigarette smoker that ain’t trying to drag her children outside just to smoke a cigarette every couple hours. So I set up the phone I upgraded from to be my night time nanny cam. Now I can peacefully get some mommy minutes at night while still being able to see if they wake up crying, then I can sooth them through the camera as I’m walking back inside and up three flights of stairs to get to him/her to help them back to sleep. Thank you so much Alfred cam. You’re a lifesaver in this very hard time in my life.’