In an ideal world, you wouldn’t need to worry about your personal safety when walking along the streets of a city on your own after dark. Unfortunately, while plenty of progress has been made in terms of reducing crime rates in many parts of the world, statistics show that people – often women, but also men – on their own in towns and cities after dark can find themselves becoming the victims of various crimes.
Reports show that around 1 in 5 violent crimes take place in open, public spaces like parks, playgrounds, and streets, and it’s not uncommon for people on their own to be targeted by criminals and involved in acts of sexual assault, harassment, robbery, and more. This is why it’s so important for anyone on their own to take necessary precautions and do what they can to keep themselves safe, and here are some useful tips for you to keep in mind.
One of the most obvious ways to stay safe when you’re on your own is to have at least a few self-defense skills in your arsenal. You can take self-defense classes, watch videos online, or even pick up a few simple techniques from reading useful articles. Being able to physically fight back if someone tries to attack you can help you feel more confident and at ease, but it’s important to stay cautious, all the same.
While you have a legal right to use force to defend yourself, it’s often best to simply try and evade attackers and get away from dangerous situations as quickly as possible. An attacker might have a gun or a knife, and even if you’re skilled in the arts of self-defense, you could put yourself in serious danger by sticking around and engaging in physical conflict. Treat self-defense as a last resort.
A good way to avoid dangerous situations altogether is to make sure you have a direct line of communication with nearby friends and contacts at all times. This way, if ever you feel unsafe or unsure about anything, you can give your friends a call and ask them to come and meet you or pick you up.
There are several personal safety apps available that let you alert your friends if you’re in danger with the press of a button, as well as tracker apps that let your friends see exactly where you are and come find you, if need be. Research these apps and download one or two before a big night out, just in case you find yourself on your own and in need of help, or simply to help you feel more reassured.
Human beings, like any other living, breathing creature, have an innate desire to avoid danger and keep themselves safe. Your natural instincts will often kick in when dangerous signs start to appear, and you can learn a lot by simply listening to your body and following your instincts.
If you’re walking home alone and get a bad feeling about a certain street, don’t go down it. If you think you’d be better off calling a cab to take you home, do so. Listen to the signs and signals of both your body and the world around you in order to keep yourself safe.
Being alert and aware of your surroundings is another very important part of keeping yourself safe when walking solo late at night. Often, criminals can be sneaky, following you from the shadows or hiding in the darkness, waiting for the right time to strike, so keep a close eye on your surroundings and make sure you know who is around you at all times.
Similarly, you should always be keeping an eye out for any potential risks or possible safe areas around you. If you spot a store with the lights on, for example, remember that you can head back there if you feel in danger, or if you notice that one street has several cars driving by, it’s probably a safer option to walk down than one which appears to be completely deserted.
The best way to avoid getting into danger on your own is to avoid being alone at all costs. Try to stick with at least one friend at all times, and if you find yourself in a situation where you need to get home alone, then opt for a taxi or ask a friend for a ride instead. If you simply have to walk solo, be sure to keep these useful tips in mind to stay safe.