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The United States

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on July 10, 2006. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: Jessica Labrencis and RaeJean Stokes, vacation package, women's travel.

The United States

Nary a woman has not faced sexual harassment in this country. But American women tend to falsely believe that we're safer in our own country than we are overseas. If anything, this is only true because most of the time we speak the same language and share a common culture. We think we understand each other and therefore there is less fear of the unknown.

According to an FBI report, nearly 100,000 rapes are reported in the U.S. every year. While most sexual violence is attempted by friends or acquaintances, a large portion of crime is still random. Some of this is violent, and it can affect anyone, including the female traveler.

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Don't assume that just because your destination is Denver, Miami, or Los Angeles that you can let your guard down. Women still need to be aware while traveling domestically. Don't text message or chat incessantly on your cell phone in public because you won't know what's going on around you. Ask the locals about which areas to avoid, and avoid them. Sometimes certain neighborhoods can get a bad reputation for the wrong reasons, but your vacation is not the time you should be seeking to right these wrongs. If you go anywhere alone at night, make sure it's well lit and well traveled. And above all, follow your instincts. Armed with common sense and some simple street smarts, you're less likely to be a target.

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