Do you feel insecure when you are walking home at night? Have you thought about what you would do if something does happen to you? Most people do not think about personal safety until something happens to them and by then, it is too late. What we are about to outline may seem like common sense, but the risks people take unknowingly is quite worrying.
• Do you listen to your mp3 player with headphones in? Have you thought about how your senses are impaired when listening to music? Are you able to hear someone approaching you? Next time you are walking alone or going for a run through a quiet area – think twice about listening to music – stay alert!
• Do you carry a weapon in your hand? If you have read any of our previous articles you will know that a weapon can constitute a pen, your mobile phone, a mag lite anything that can hurt and is easy to hold? If you do not already do this, we highly recommend that you do. Most of the time an attacker will expect compliance and not to be attacked back. A mobile phone is is something which you will more than likely be holding anyway and can be used as an effective weapon with the right training.
• Think about your surroundings. Are you walking down a quiet path? Are there any people around? Are there blind spots? If so, think about walking in the middle of the road. This allows you to have a wider scope and better sighting. Blind spots, i.e cars, trees, alley ways are an attacker’s paradise. Attackers generally rely on surprise. Walking in the middle of the road cuts that risk out completely and may make your attacker think twice. Don’t forget to get out of the way of cars though
• Clothing can be a major hindrance and is something that you should consider before stepping out for the day. Do you wear high heels? Would you be able to run in them if needed? Do you use a scarf? A scarf is something which the attacker can grab or worse can use to strangle. It is important to think about your clothing and to be practical with it.
• Perhaps the most important tip is the way you carry yourself. Do not give your attacker any reason to see you as a victim. Walk tall, walk straight and walk with a purpose. When approaching someone, whether they are a threat or not (you may never know who is a threat), look at them, make eye contact, no matter how difficult that is and be as confident as possible.
• Lastly, if you are lost, under no circumstance should you get a map out. Even if you are completely lost – continue walking until you come to a bar, cafe, restaurant or a lighted area where you feel safe. Do not look lost or ask strangers for directions unless you feel absolutely safe to do so.
Next time you go out, please think about some of the above and consider what you might do to increase your personal safety – take no chances.
There are many other example of personal safety and the above are just some of the things that we feel everybody should consider when walking alone and at night. If you would like to know more about our Personal Safety and Street Awareness courses, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.urbanescrima.com for further information.