Sometimes the world can be a little bit scary and you have to do things that you probably don’t want to do – and walking alone at night is one of those things. Women who walk alone as susceptible to getting harassed or assaulted more than men are. While the goal would be to work on the people who do this, women have to be ready to protect themselves or do things beforehand to prevent it from happening.
Here are a few tips to stay safe when you have to walk alone at night:
Walk With Confidence: Walk like you have a purpose, and make that purpose getting to your destination safely. Don’t dawdle, don’t look lost, and don’t look down. Keep your head up and walk at a steady pace. Make sure to face traffic so that you are visible and so that you have some light. If you do happen to get lost, don’t let it break your confidence. Head to the nearest store, restaurant, or bar to get your bearings, ask for directions, or check your phone.
Put Your Phone Away Otherwise: A woman looking at her phone is going to be one of the most obvious targets to someone who looking out. Your phone distracts you and makes you unaware of your surroundings.
Trust Yourself: If you are walking alone and something doesn’t feel right, make sure you let whoever is making you uncomfortable know that you are aware he is there. Don’t go straight for your car or into your home. Instead, go somewhere public where other people can see you.
Avoid Struggles: Don’t carry a lot of bags at night that you then have to look through or wear heels that are going to hurt you as you walk. You want everything to go as smoothly as possible so that you can get from destination A to destination B in a hurry and without any problems. Things that make you dawdle can harm you in the end.
Another word about high heels – try to avoid them. If you are going to be walking alone, you need to have secure footing in case you do need to run or you encounter ice. Wear footwear that is comfortable and that you can make a getaway in if needed. Heels also announce you are coming and can give a mugger some extra time to prepare. If you need to wear heels, consider putting a pair of sneakers in your bag to wear home.
Keep Your Keys Out: When if you have to go from your car to your door, keep your keys ready. Hold onto them inside your pocket and get ready to unlock whatever door you are near as quickly as possible. This will stop the fumbling that can give someone an opportunity. If you are walking on a parking lot, keep your fingers on the alarm button. If someone does try to grab you, press it to try to scare them off. If worst comes to worst, your keys can be used as a weapon.
Avoid Hiding Spots: If you can, avoid parked cars that look suspicious, unlit corners, dark alleys, or stoops where there are a lot of people hanging out. Try to find the light at all times because that is the safest spot. Even if you have to walk a block out of your way, make sure the majority of your trip is in a place where you are visible.
Prepare: In the winter months, make sure that you’ve cleared your sidewalks and steps so that you can move from your car into the house as quickly as possible. Look for clearing at stores, at schools, or in any other parking lots you may be in. Make sure to clean your car in the morning if possible or at least somewhere where there are cameras, other people, and lots of light.
Know How to Take Care of Yourself: If you know you are going to be walking alone a lot, consider signing yourself up for self-defense classes. This will teach you how to get out of situations that might not be the best. If there aren’t any self defense classes around you, there are YouTube videos as well. Carry mace or pepper spray that you can easily grab as well.
We have to take care of ourselves and make sure that we are safe, first and foremost. Don’t be ashamed or afraid to ask for help if you think you are going to need it. The world is quite crazy and there is a lot going on out there.