3. Canvassing At Night
Most campaigns are diligent about winning, so it’s likely you’ll have to canvass under the earth’s yo-yo. The law permits canvassers to solicit after sunset and believe me when I say, canvassing during the hours of 6pm to 9pm comes with risk. According to 10 Things to Do When A Stranger Knocks on Your Door, homeowners are told to “Arm Yourself.”
Ken Jorgustin went on to say,
“If you do not recognize or trust the stranger on the other side of the door, and especially if you feel uncomfortable or suspicious about the circumstance – just in case, why not arm yourself? You could do this discretely if you choose. If you don’t own a firearm, consider pepper spray, or keep a baseball bat or golf club by the door, etc… It’s your life – security is a form of ‘life insurance’.”
In November 2013 a “frightened” homeowner (or just plain irate) man did just that. At night, Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old African-American woman wrecked her vehicle. She walked to a neighborhood in Dearborn Heights, knocked on the door of a house and was shot by Theodore P. Wafer. If that doesn’t caution you about knocking on a door at night, I don’t know what does.
To examine this further, I provided some statistics. In the United States, around June 2014, SSH commissioned a 2,000-person national survey with the surveying firm GfK. The survey found that 65% of all women had experienced street harassment. Among all women, 23% had been sexually touched, 20% had been followed, and 9% had been forced to do something sexual. Among men, 25% had been street harassed (a higher percentage of LGBT-identified men than heterosexual men reported this) and their most common form of harassment was homophobic or transphobic slurs (9%). Read more findings.
In the event the managers of your campaign are insensitive when it comes to your safety (and you’re unable to do without work), The Daily Positive posted some useful tips in an article called, 5 Essentials For Women Walking Alone at Night. I feel these tips can be applied to all persons, i.e., including men. Some of the tips in the article state: don’t wear headphones, carry a whistle, and take a self-defense class.