40 Things Men Can Do To Make Women Feel Safe and Secure

We live in a world where women often don’t feel safe and we need to do better. From simple gestures to intentionally creating a secure place, men can do so many things to help women feel comfortable. Here are 50 actionable suggestions for men to make women feel safe—whether that’s at home or in public.

1. Cross the street

A young adult African American enjoys the sunshine as he strolls down a city walkway. The bright sunlight casts interesting shadows on the wall behind.

If you see a woman walking alone, just cross the street. It’s a minor inconvenience for you but makes a world of difference in safety for her.

2. Create a code word

If you go out on the town with your female friends often, check in to see if they want to have a secret code word for when they’re feeling unsafe. If they say it to you at the moment, you’ll know to escort them away from the dangerous person or situation.

3. Be mindful of your body language and tone of voice

Things like standing over her when she’s sitting or speaking in a loud or overbearing tone can make her very uncomfortable. Be aware of how you’re coming off and adjust as necessary.

4. Check your friends

There’s a lot of progress to be made when it comes to “locker room talk.” It’s your job as a man to check your friends when they engage in sexist behavior—if you don’t call them out, who will?

5. Help her create a safety kit

Get her pepper spray and a whistle, and confirm that her emergency contacts are updated. Make sure she’s equipped with every protective measure.

6. Don’t share her personal information without consent

man and woman talking outside

Maybe a guy who was hitting on her asks you for her number. Do not give it to him without asking her consent first—if you don’t do that, you’re not being a wingman, you’re being a jerk.

7. Offer to check in when she’s on a date

If your friend is going on a date with a new guy, offer to call her at a certain time to make sure everything is going okay. She might not take you up on it, but knowing she has you to rely on will make her feel more secure.

8. Share locations with her

male and female friend talking outside

This only really works if you’re super close to the person. See if they’d feel safer or more comfortable if they shared their location with you—this way, if you see something out of the ordinary, you can take action.

9. Think twice before offering unsolicited advice

If you see, for example, a woman at the gym don’t assume she needs your help. That’s presumptuous—you don’t need to offer suggestions, help, or critiques if someone isn’t asking for it. If she needed help, she’d say so.

10. Be aware of power dynamics in your interactions

older businessman talking down to female employee

If you work with women or manage women at your job, you need to be aware of the power dynamics at play. Never take her into a secluded place or room and definitely don’t share personal stories (especially about relationships). You’re her coworker/boss, not her friend.

11. Be mindful of where you sit

Please—and we repeat—please do not sit next to a woman when there are other empty seats available. This is domineering, creepy, and scary.

12. Be willing to educate yourself and learn from the feedback

Overweight young man relaxing at home and reading a book.

There may be times when you unintentionally do something that makes a woman uncomfortable. If she tells you that what you did wasn’t okay, listen to her. But don’t just. listen to her, learn from the feedback, and educate yourself on why what you did isn’t appropriate.

13. Offer to split a rideshare or taxi

It’s sad, but there have been documented incidents of male drivers harassing women who are in their cars. Offer to take the ride with her and make sure she’s dropped off first to prevent anything from happening.

14. Amplify her voice

The truth is, when a woman is in a room full of men, her voice is at risk of being drowned out. If you hear her trying to speak up or share her take on anything, make sure she’s heard. You can simply say, “(Name), made a good point. Can you repeat it?” This gives her a safe space to speak.

15. Keep your distance

You probably don’t realize it, but women are very aware of how close people—especially men—are to them at all times. So, if you’re behind a woman, make sure to stay far enough back or, if you need to pass, make sure that there’s a wide enough space to do so.

16. Keep your hands to yourself

You’re nature may lean more touchy-feely, but think twice before touching a woman. Even if there’s no sexual intent behind it, it’s an invasion of her body’s safety and will probably make her very uncomfortable.

17. Offer to escort your friends to places

two colleagues walking down the street

The sad truth is, women are much less likely to be targeted if a man is with them. Whether it’s to or from, escorting a woman will make her feel safe.

18. Intervene when a woman is being harassed or objectified

If you’re walking down the street and see a woman being cat-called, saying something like “Come on, man. Don’t be that guy,” can go a long way. If it’s physical harassment, physically putting yourself between her and the other person (and staying with her until they leave) is the best thing to do.

19. Ask her if she’s okay

If you don’t get a chance to intervene, you can gently approach her and offer assistance. Say something like, “Are you okay? Can I call someone for you—I can stay until they get here.” Follow her lead but know that she may be shaken up, so give her space but let her know you’re there to help.

20. Don’t flirt with a woman who doesn’t show interest

If a woman isn’t interested in you, she’ll make it pretty clear. She’ll reply with one-word answers, divert eye contact, leave, or have closed-off body language. She’s not playing hard to get, she’s simply not interested so don’t flirt.

21. Show younger men how to act

Set an example for the younger generation. Show them what it looks like to be a good, supportive, and safe man—listening and believing women, being respectful, and not speaking in derogatory terms. It’s the only way to break the cycle.

22. Don’t run up from behind

As we said, it can be quite the jumpscare when a man doesn’t keep their distance. If you’re on a running trail or running down the sidewalk, just call out a simple, “On your left!” so she knows you’re coming.

23. Keep your comments to yourself

You don’t need to tell her you like her dress or anything about her, for that matter. If it has to do with her looks, body parts, or anything of that nature, it’s best to zip it.

24. Don’t stare

Having a man stare at you, especially when you’re alone, is extremely unsettling. You may think you’re silently paying her a compliment, but it feels predatory and icky.

25. Be aware of vulnerable situations

Let’s say you’re hiking with a female friend and she needs to go to the bathroom or get changed. Make it obvious that you’re not looking—don’t go to the bathroom next to her, don’t get changed in the same area. You need to be aware of how your presence may make women feel uncomfortable.

26. Address her respectfully

That means not calling her a chick or a girl or something worse (that starts with a “b”). Address her like you’d want a man to address your sister or mother.

27. Believe her when she shares her experiences

If a woman trusts you enough to tell you about past instances of harassment or feeling unsafe, then you should believe her. Let her speak, without interrupting, and don’t say anything like, “No it wasn’t that bad”—that just diminishes her unique experience and signals that it’s not safe to talk about around you.

28. Do not catcall

This feels obvious, but we had to include it. You do not need to tell a woman what you’d like to do to her or how good she looks when she’s on an innocent walk around the neighborhood. It’s not going to get you the results you want and it’s gross, archaic behavior.

29. Avoid making assumptions about her safety needs

serious man looking off to the side

Whether it’s being walked home or if she’s dealing with a creep, there are times when she may genuinely be okay. The golden rule: always ask.

30. Offer to hold her belongings in crowded or unsafe spaces

overpopulated world

You’d be surprised by how many times women get their things stolen right off their person. If you’re at a concert or in a crowded bar, offer to hold her belongings. It’s a simple, but meaningful, gesture.

31. Offer to go to a self-defense class with her

Taking a self-defense class is good. for anyone—regardless of gender. Encourage her to learn how to protect herself, it’s good information for women to know.

32. Host your gatherings in safe spaces

Let’s say you’re having a party, make sure it’s in a space that is secure and safe. You don’t want to put anyone (again, regardless of their gender) to be put in a potentially scary situation.

33. Offer to help her research and install home safety devices

Women need to feel safe in their personal spaces. If you notice one of your friends doesn’t have additional security measures, see if she wants your help figuring that out.

34. Participate in neighborhood watch programs

man with serious face in autumn park

Be on the lookout—literally. This is another way you can make women feel secure, by standing guard for her—and everyone else—in your area.

35. Support organizations working to end gender-based violence

This is important work, and we need more men to help! Whether you donate or volunteer your time, this is a great way to educate yourself on these vital issues and show that you’re an ally.

36. Be aware of her triggers

There may be times when you inadvertently trigger a woman by saying or doing something. If that happens, apologize and ask if there’s anything else she’d like you to know so you can prevent it from happening again.

37. Let her know you’re always available

Whether it’s 11 pm or 3 am, make sure she knows that you are a safe person to call at any time of day or night. If you usually sleep with your phone on Do Not Disturb, update her contact so you’ll hear the phone ring.

38. Help set her up with a safety network

happy woman with friends on adventure

Even if you say you’re always available, there may be times when you’re not. In these cases, it’d be useful for her to have a network of safe people she can reach out to in times of distress.

39. Create a safety route together

Runner couple, street and nature in summer, mountains or countryside in fitness workout, wellness or health. Man, woman and teamwork running on road for training, exercise or self care in sunshine

She may run alone early in the mornings or walk to the bus late at night—whatever her routine, offer to create a safety plan so she can feel prepared and secure on her route.

40. Attend community safety workshops

male businessman doing presentation

Learn how to recognize and address potential risks from a professional so you’re always prepared to support her.



Bolde Voices represents writers from around the world who want to share their stories anonymously. While everything you read is based on personal experience, it's the ability to tell their truths without being identified that allows those behind the pieces you read to be so brutally honest.