Which of the above locations, from A to E, would you consider the safest when riding an elevator with a person you don’t know or are suspicious of? Chances are you’ve never really thought about it, but the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department recently published the following safety information intended to educate women about riding elevators alone with men, advising them of what to do should they feel uncomfortable.
“If, on the occasion that you find yourself riding alone with a man in an elevator and feel afraid,” a statement from the police begins, “regardless of how rude doing so may seem, immediately press all of the buttons and get out of the elevator at the nearest floor. If you wait until something happens it will already be too late.”
Naturally, this being Japan, the warnings that accompany the safety information come with cartoons, in this case showing a dastardly villain attacking a woman from behind while wearing sunglasses and grinning menacingly.
▼ “It’s dangerous.”
Information contained within another graphic provides more detailed instructions:
“Take care when riding elevators if someone enters just before the doors close. If you find yourself alone with a person you do not know, stand in the location shown in the diagram, keeping your back to the wall, not the other person. Stand close to where you can reach the emergency bell, and get off the elevator at the nearest floor. After doing so, check to see which floor the elevator has stopped at before boarding again and making your way to your floor.”
This is indeed a serious matter, and it’s great to see Tokyo’s police giving such practical advice. But at the same time we can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for any innocent men who, going about their day and just managing to catch the elevator before the doors close, suddenly see the woman in the corner start jabbing at the buttons and race out as quickly as possible. Not only would it leave them confused, and probably a little bit freaked out themselves, but they’d then have to continue their journey up in the elevator alone, stopping at every… single… floor on their way.