April 26, 2001

By Bob Stevens


Question: Is it more dangerous for women to become private investigators?

Bob: It depends on the kind of work they're doing. The job has as many different variations as most industries. I know investigators that never leave their computers, while others investigate auto accidents, some criminal defense, some surveillance, etc., etc., etc.

If the kind of investigations one is doing involve the chance of physical altercations or heavy lifting, then it may be more dangerous for women simply because women generally have less upper body strength than men, which puts them at a disadvantage when in an altercation. Women generally aren't as physically menacing as men. I've avoided injury simply because my potential adversary didn't want to go toe-to-toe with me, when he might have taken on a smaller person. On the other hand, many men (although sadly not enough) are reluctant to strike a woman.

I know women who do work in specialties with a high potential for violence (bounty hunters, criminal investigators, etc.), and they're usually cautious not to put themselves in a situation that might call for a physical altercation without plenty of back-up. But a male would be wise to take the same precautions. The physical risks can be reduced for anyone with appropriate training, planning and equipment.


THROUGH A PRIVATE EYE DARKLY is a column dedicated to questions regarding private investigation. Please send questions to and please understand that Bob may not be able to answer each and every question though every effort will be made in that endeavor.

Denise Baton

Copyright 2001 Robert A. Stevens