CHICAGO - Many people hit the pause button on dating during the pandemic, and now as they dive back in, one Uptown resident is helping single women on the North Side of Chicago go about it as safely as possible.
"Being a woman dating alone in a big city can be a little bit scary," said Lora D., creator of the private Facebook group called "All The Single Ladies (Northside Chicago)".
It's essentially the ultimate buddy system via social media.
"You might write, ‘Going out with a man named Dave 2 p.m. on Sunday,’" she said.
Users can post who they're meeting, when and where, in case of an emergency.
"I encourage people, like if somethings happening or you need to escape, maybe post or message someone." Lora said.
Then, when the date is over, you can check back in to let the group know you're safe.
"I just wanted to sort of create a community where people can feel safe sharing that information that they might not want to tell every one of their friends or their family," said Lora.
Personal trainer Anastassiya Suslik is one of the group's members.
She has taught self-defense classes to about a dozen of the women.
"Learn how to defend yourself against the bear hug if somebody's grabbing you from the back, what do you do," said Suslik.
"There's a lot of people doing a lot of weird things that I hope, you know, knock on wood, I hope never happens to anyone in our group," said Lora. "But there's a community of us, kind of looking out for each other in the event that it does happen."
Suslik says she offers free self-defense seminars monthly at Titan Gym in Chicago.