Carla Stefaniak's approach is "correct," her best friend said.
In November last year, during the five-day holiday to Costa Rica to celebrate his 36th birthday, Stefaniac, who had dual citizenship in Venezuela and the United States, chose a walled villa near the airport from Airbnb. The villa has security. Located in a secure community. She also managed to ensure that she returned to her place before dark.
The night before she flew back to Florida, she made a video call with Laura Jaime, her best friend, on the FaceTime app. She showed off the crocheted earrings she bought at the local market and took a video of her friends to visit the villa she lived in. The two friends plan to meet the next day, when Jamie will pick her up at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
在即将飞回佛罗里达的前一天晚上，她在FaceTime应用上与最要好的朋友劳拉·杰米(Laura Jaime)通了视频电话。她显摆了在当地市场买的钩编耳坠，带朋友视频游览了一番她住的别墅。两位好友计划次日见面，届时杰米将在劳德代尔堡-好莱坞国际机场(Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport)接她。
But on November 28th, Stefaniak did not board her flight back home.
In their conversation, Stefanac said a puzzling word. She said that she felt that something was wrong, but did not elaborate.
Karla was aware that something was wrong at 8:20 that evening, Jamie said. “Sometimes we will justify our intuition. But when something is triggered, our intuition that something is wrong, you have to pay attention.”
A week later, people found the body of the murdered Stefanac. The body was wrapped in plastic and half buried in the woods on the slopes near Shepburn, where she rented. The Costa Rican police arrested the security guard of the villa in connection with the murder case.
The recent headline on the deadly violence of women who traveled alone in the media has raised some questions: How does the world react to the rise in the number of female solo travelers with digital evidence? What role does social media play in promoting the idea of ??being easy to go and safe in remote places?
These violent cases also reveal the persistence of gender-based violence worldwide, and the cultural and social expectations that expose foreign single travelers are not always consistent with local perceptions of women's status in the world – and whether she should The problem of travel.
Every year, countless women travel abroad without accidents. Many women have experienced snoring and other forms of harassment during their travels; women of color have written experiences that they have not been ignored or neglected because of their ethnicity. While violence against male visitors is equally alarming, the horror experience of female single travelers can still be horrifying.
There is no doubt that women face unique risks when traveling alone, experts say.
“We have evidence that women face risks that men do not have in public places, at home, and where they may be,” said Phumzile Mlambo, Executive Director of UN Women. Ngcuka) said the organization is committed to promoting women's equality. Increasingly, "where they may be" includes being alone in a foreign country.
But Mlambo-Nguekuka said violence against female tourists is part of a general situation of violence against women around the world. Experts point out that violent incidents may also occur in wealthy Western countries such as France, Italy and Germany, similar to the possibilities in developing countries.
“The root causes of violence against women in communities, public and private places are largely related to potential gender stereotypes, social norms, what people think they have access to, and patriarchal systems,” Mlambo - Englukka said.
Before the British pioneer Fraya Stark traveled to Turkey and the poor women in the Middle East, before the Irish travel writer Dervla Murphy took a bicycle around the world, women They have always been explorers, both on a spectacular level and on a personal level.
早在英国开路先锋弗雷娅·史塔克(Freya Stark)前往土耳其和中东不好女客的地区之前，也在爱尔兰旅行作家戴芙拉·墨菲(Dervla Murphy)骑自行车周游世界之前，女性都一直是探险者，无论是在壮观层面还是在个人层面。
Today, women's increased spending power allows them to spend more on leisure and adventure travel. The Western shift in attitude toward who can travel alone has further advanced a growing industry. Social media also plays a huge role in showing people the warm feelings of a distant country. Take a look at millions of topics on Instagram such as "#LadiesGoneGlobal", "We Are Traveling Girls" (#WeAreTravelGirls) and "Travel Women" (#TheTravelWomen). The photo shows women posing on the sparkling beach, trekking in the mountains, strolling on cobbled streets, a collective, coveted temptation.
But some women have discovered horror when traveling abroad, such as Hannah Gavios, 26, of Queens.
Gavios discovered his passion for traveling alone through a short-term overseas course when he was in college. “I think it gives me the luxury of local culture in the way I want, and it allows me to portray my own experiences,” she said.
After graduating from college, she traveled to Southeast Asia alone. In 2016, she went to Thailand during her English vacation in Vietnam. One night, she was walking alone after eating dinner in Krabi, which is famous for her beaches and loved by young tourists. A local man offered to bring her back to the hotel.
She said that because she was afraid of getting lost, she went with him. But when she felt more and more wrong, he started.
Gavios struggled to escape, fell off the cliff, and had a broken spine. She lay helplessly on the ground and lay for 11 hours, during which the man sexually assaulted her.
When it was dawn, he left - but surprisingly, he came back with the help.
Gavios lived in hospital for several months, first in Thailand, and later in New York, she had to learn to walk again with the help of crutches and custom leg supports. The person who attacked her was eventually arrested and sentenced to five years in prison.
In the week of Stefaniak’s disappearance, her friends and family rushed to the Costa Rican authorities. They organized a campaign called "Looking for Cara" on Facebook. The US State Department quickly intervened and the FBI put pressure on local officials.
When her body was found near the villa, her relatives were completely killed.
Her best friend Jamie said that the authorities in the country should have done more work to let women know the risks they face in the country. “They have a responsibility to tell visitors all the risks, but they didn’t do that,” she said.
Stefaniac is the third foreign woman killed in Costa Rica in three months. But the country is also working to resolve a deeper, more systematic problem, which is violence against women in the country. These women did not help to provoke a US passport such as the State Department or the Federal Bureau of Investigation to defend their rights.
From January to August 2018, at least 14 women in the country lost their lives in gender-based violence. Last September, the Costa Rican government announced that violence against women was a national issue.
The National Women’s Institute of the government’s government cited a statement in the statement that the foreigners were killed last summer to explain the problem: “The fact that we face is that in addition to potentially damaging the image of the country, they are still victims of violence against women. A striking example of a serious situation that is the most cruel in killing women."
Despite this, Costa Rica is still considered to be one of the safest countries in Central America, especially for tourists, where the murder rate is lower than in many neighbouring countries. Officials in the country say they have made progress in combating gender-based violence.
Experienced solo travelers say that being prepared is the key to minimizing risk.
For 29-year-old Cassie DePecol, traveling alone means preparing a long list of precautions. Di Pecor created a Guinness World Record in 2017 and became the first woman to have been in all countries. The Connecticut-born activist practiced Israeli self-defense techniques in close combat (Krav Maga). She also carries a GPS tracker with her. Always make sure anyone knows where she is.
对于29岁的卡西·迪佩科尔(Cassie DePecol)来说，独自旅行意味着要准备好一长串的预防措施。迪佩科尔在2017年创造了一项吉尼斯世界纪录，成为有据可查的首位到过所有国家的女性。这位康涅狄格州出生的活跃分子练习以色列自卫技术近身格斗(Krav Maga)。她还随身携带一个GPS跟踪器。总是确保随时有人知道她在哪里。
“Some practices may sound a bit extreme,” she said. “But I attributed the safe travel alone in 196 countries to these specific practices.”
Di Pecor said that gender-based violence is an unfortunate reality for women who like to travel.
When we are alone or in public, we need to be on the lookout for attacks. This kind of awareness is not necessary for men, she said.
The 34-year-old Jessica Nabongo has set herself the task of becoming the first black woman to have been to all countries in the world. She was born in Detroit and has traveled to 158 countries to date, 54 of which are gone alone. She hopes to complete her travel mission in October this year.
Her safety guide includes staying in a hotel with 24-hour security as much as possible. If you live in Airbnb, the landlord must be well-received and reach the level of “super landlord”. She plays Uber so she can track her position.
Most news headlines love highlighting the experiences of young, white or Western victims, in part because of the lack of public data on the experiences of women of color who are traveling alone. But Nabango pointed out that as a black woman who travels alone, she must deal with another completely different level of security concerns, anxiety and fear.
“In many European cities I have been to, such as Barcelona, ??Madrid, Rome and Milan, women of color are at greater risk because many people think we are prostitutes,” she said. “I always worry that if I have something happening in a city in Europe, no one cares. For example, I might scream and run on the streets of Italy, but the onlookers don’t care because I am black.”
To help each other navigate the world safely, women have established their own online communities.
Dianelle Rivers-Mitchell founded the Black Girls Travel Too company to coordinate group tours to serve a growing market. On her company's Facebook page, thousands of women share advice on where to stay, eat and visit, and discuss security issues.
黛安娜尔·里弗斯-米切尔(Dianelle Rivers-Mitchell)创办了“黑人女生也旅行”(Black Girls Travel Too)公司，来协调组团旅游，为一个不断增长的市场提供服务。在她公司的Facebook网页上，数千名女性分享在哪里住宿、吃饭和参观的建议，并讨论有关安全的问题。
We are the guards of each other, especially when traveling, Rivers-Mitchell said.
The app provides another level of support for women traveling alone. Free apps like Chirpey, RedZone, MayDay, Tripwhistle and Noonlight allow women to flag events and danger zones and contact local law enforcement.
Even if you do the best preparation, you may have a situation on the road.
Moscow-born Vasilisa Komarova grew up behind the Soviet Iron Curtain in the 1980s. She read the law, moved to London, studied English, and became a British citizen. But she dreams of traveling to a wider world.
In 2016, at the age of 35, she began to ride a motorcycle alone through the Americas.
She went to Cuba and spent some time in the Atacama Desert and Chilean Patagonia. She has established contacts with other motorcyclists and worked part-time, such as working in a bicycle shop or fitness training. She is realizing her dreams and recording all this with photos on Instagram and posts on Facebook.
One day, everything changed.
“At some point, maybe because everyone I met was very friendly, I feel that I am a little relaxed and vigilant,” she said.
On June 4, 2017, when she camped in a place in northern Bolivia where people told her to be safe, three men with a machete dragged her out of the tent. They beat her and caused her arms to dislocate. Two of them put her on the ground and let another person rape her. Then they broke her motorcycle, stole her things, sprinkled urine on her tent, and then went away, whether she was dead or alive.
Komalova quietly lay down for a night because she was afraid that they would return. When the sun rose, she used her laptop computer for help, and the person who attacked her missed the computer.
But she said that the next step is an experience of impunity.
The authorities did not want to take her to the doctor; the doctor did not want to treat her because she could not afford the money.
Only after the intervention of the Russian Embassy, ??the police began to pay attention to this matter, Komalova said.
With the help of the British Embassy, ??Komalova got in touch with an advocate. The person helped her to initiate criminal proceedings and began a legal battle with the attackers.
Komalova said she knew she must be her biggest advocate; she could not continue to travel or go home without justice being promoted in some form. But she said that in the face of local bureaucracy and corruption, this is an arduous struggle.
That attack, the whole process made me collapse, Komalova said. "But I have to find strength in my heart."
A year later, the court sentenced the attackers to 42 years in prison and she attended the verdict.
In November, Komalova left Bolivia on a motorcycle. She admitted that she was scared when she put the tent up on the first night after she left. But she did not give up the next trip and hoped that other women would travel, but be vigilant – always be vigilant.
My vigilance is now very high, Komalova said in Skype in Ecuador. "People don't always deserve my doubts, but this is the case now. I have to do this."
As for Gavios, she is still in a state of shackles, but after the attack, she became a yoga instructor and learned about Israeli melee fighting. Last fall, she completed the New York City Marathon with a cane.
“This didn’t stop me from moving on or traveling alone,” she said. "I don't think I was defeated."