Saskia Starck | On 24, Apr 2014
In the last three months there have been a number of horrific attacks on young international students.
Everyone has been shocked, but it seems nothing really is being done to help the situation.
We live in Brisbane, commonly considered a pretty safe city. However, these recent events are bringing home the realisation that crime happens everywhere and measures need to be put in place to keep people safe.
Small steps like locking your front door, not walking alone at night and ensuring someone always knows where you are going will help keep you safe.
Yet, people tend to ignore these rules. I myself know numerous people who never lock their front door and continue to walk home alone after a late night out.
Frequently people are criticised for being â€˜over-safeâ€™, if that is even a thing in this day and age?
It is important for young people to realise that Brisbane can be dangerous too. The fact that these poor exchanges students have lost their lives because of it is testimony enough.
However, we cannot just blame naÃ¯ve people. The bigger issue here is that there is not enough support provided by our local council to keep people safe.
We are constantly told not to walk at night alone yet very few options, other than an expensive cab ride home, are provided for young people.
Yes, there are night buses but they run once every hour after a certain time and donâ€™t drop you directly at your home.
The leading problem with transport for students is the fact they do not work a paid full time job. Many students are at university five days a week and barely manage to fit one shift of work into their schedule. These young people do not have the funds to pay for a cab because those pay cheques either pay for rent, food or basic living necessities.
The council needs to address this problem.
Extending train hours is one initiative or providing buses that run more than hourly. People are less likely to be harmed if on the phone so even a line for people to call when walking home alone could be a possibility.
These are the ideas that need to be discussed.
Universities could also help the situation by providing more information for students about staying safe in Brisbane. We are bombarded with how to stay safe while out but little is explained about the journeys home. This is especially important for people new to Brisbane. Informing them about the travel options available in Brisbane will be very beneficial.
However, until then we must learn to keep ourselves safe as best we can. So start locking your doors, even in the daytime and try and find alternative options than walking home alone. Sharing a cab ride home with friends is always a good idea. Even if it means you may have to stay out that extra 30 minutes waiting for everyone to leave. Trust me when I say it wonâ€™t make things difficult but rather it could save your life.