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How To Stay Safe When Walking Home Alone At Night

How To Stay Safe When Walking Home Alone At Night

When walking home alone at night, it’s important to think about your personal safety. 59% of sexual assault cases and 56% of robberies occur at night, and many of these crimes are committed against people walking home alone. Women are by far the most common target of these crimes, however men can be targeted too.

To stop yourself being preyed on, there are a few safety measures that you can take. This post lists some of the best ways to stay safe when walking home at night. 

Don’t walk home alone

You are far less likely to be targeted by a criminal if you are in a group. When possible, consider planning to walk home with a friend or family member. 

If you’re walking home with a friend after a night out and you’re worried about them getting back to their home alone from your place, consider allowing them to crash at your place. Alternatively, you could sleep at theirs. This means that neither of you has to walk home alone at night. 

Avoid walking home with people you don’t trust – especially if you’ve just met them that night. You never know what someone’s true motives are.

How To Stay Safe When Walking Home Alone At Night

Stick to well-lit main roads

An opportunistic criminal is more likely to target you somewhere where there are unlikely to be witnesses. Dark alleyways and unlit paths through parks are common examples of places where attacks take place. 

If you can help it, try to plan a route that consists mainly of well-lit main roads. If there is a lot of lighting and cars frequently coming down the road, a criminal is less likely to take their chances.

Stay aware of your surroundings

Many people like to occupy themselves when walking home by listening to music or using their phone. However, this can make you less aware of what’s going on around you, and a more likely target for criminals.

Listening to music on headphones can make you unaware of sounds like footsteps or voices. While music can help calm some people down, it’s better to have no headphones on or just one headphone on so that you’re still able to hear what’s going on around you.

Staring down at a phone is one of the worst things you can do – you won’t be able to see what’s going on and a criminal may see you as more submissive because you have your head down. When walking through dark and dodgy areas, put your phone away and look forward.

Many people feel safer talking to someone on the phone. After all, who would attack someone knowing that there is someone on the other end of the phone who can ring the police? The sad truth is that many people get attacked when talking on the phone, and quite often there’s very little anyone can do on the other end of the phone if they don’t know your precise location. Even if they do know your location, it could take a while for them or police to arrive, at which point the crime will have already been committed. Talking on the phone is more likely to draw attention to you and could make you seem an easier target because you’re distracted, so be careful when making or receiving calls. 

Walk with confidence

It’s important not to look vulnerable. By walking with confidence, you can give off a vibe that tells criminals that you’re not easy prey. 

Just how do you walk with confidence? Firstly, keep up a consistent pace – don’t try to speed up past someone or creep past them as it will show you’re intimidated. Secondly, keep your head up, shoulders back and look forward. Criminals are more likely to target people with their head down.

Use your voice

If a stranger is talking to you and trying to grab your attention, don’t be afraid to speak back. Firmly and loudly tell them ‘I don’t know you’ and ‘leave me alone’ and they may back off. By making a scene, you can show you’re not easy prey, as well as drawing the attention of any other people around.

If you continue to get attacked, don’t be afraid to keep using your voice. Yelling ‘help’ and ‘i’m being attacked’ will grab the attention of anyone living nearby or walking nearby. Only remain silent if they have a weapon and tell you to be quiet. 

Carry a self-defense weapon

In case you are targeted, you could always consider carrying a weapon to defend yourself. 

There are many weapons that women can carry in a handbag. Self-defense keychains and keyrings are one option – these can be used to hit or stab an attacker and can be bought online. A can of pepper spray can meanwhile temporarily blind an attacker, allowing you to get away. A mini stun gun is also an option that can temporarily incapacitate an attacker.

In some states, you may even be able to carry a gun for self defense. This could be kept in a bag or worn on a holster. A decent tactical belt could be worth wearing if you want to carry a gun on your belt.

You should consider the fact that some places won’t allow you to enter with weapons. Therefore, you won’t be able to walk home from these places with a weapon unless you are able to keep it in a cloakroom.

Take self-defense classes

Self-defense classes can teach you how to defend yourself if you are attacked. Almost everyone can benefit from taking such classes.

If you live in a city, there are likely to be self-defense workshops available. This typically includes one or two classes that can teach you all the basics you need to protect yourself. 

Alternatively, you could consider taking up a martial art. Martial arts can teach you self-defense, while also being a form of regular exercise and a sport.

Take care with safety apps

There are a few street safety apps that are designed to help you stay safe by showing you the safest route home, making alert noises or sending alerts to emergency contacts. While these apps can have their benefits, they could also encourage you to have your phone out – which itself could make you more of a target. 

The best apps are the ones that work in the background. For example, there are apps that can notify loved ones of your locations and that can send out alerts via your voice – such an app may not stop you from getting attacked, but it can notify loved ones straight away and allow help to reach you more quickly. 

How To Stay Safe When Walking Home Alone At Night

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