Whether you’re a woman or a man, there’s no denying that walking on your own can be daunting, especially when it’s dark. Many women have shared their experiences and worries about walking alone since the tragic news of Sarah Everard.
So, we’ve adapted this week’s Wellness Wednesday to give you tips on staying safe when walking on your own.
Stick to well-lit areas and main roads
Not only do you feel safer but statistically streetlights can be proven to cut crime by 39%. By sticking to busier areas with good lighting, you’re less likely to have any trouble walking home.
Don’t wear headphones
You always need to stay vigilant and keep in mind what’s around you when you’re out. Listening to your favourite songs may pass time quicker but it can distract you. If you really can’t give up music on your walk, then take one earphone out so you can hear your surroundings.
Phone a loved one
If you’re feeling worried or if someone feels a little too close, just get your phone out and FaceTime or phone a friend. We would always recommend FaceTiming as that friend can see you’re safe. Act as if you’re meeting them and tell them your location and what time you will get there. If your friend isn’t picking up, pretend you’re on the phone to them – fake it ‘til you make it! People are less likely to talk to you if you’re on the phone.
Always walk in the direction of facing traffic as you can see exactly what is going on in front of you. If you walk on the other side of the road, you never know if someone will pull up behind you – it’s a scary thought but by facing traffic, you’re minimising this risk.
Trust your instincts
We all have routines, so you may see the same people on your way home. Make sure you’re always aware of what is going on around you, who is around you and trust your gut instincts. That feeling is an anxiety that keeps you safe. If you notice you’re being followed, or you have a feeling that something isn’t right – act on it! Even if you are wrong, you will still be safe.
Be visibly alert and learn how to protect yourself
Look around and be visibly alert. If you look like an easy target you are more likely to be attacked. If you look like someone who will fight back, then you will be safer. If you can, enrol in a basic self-defence course to learn some techniques to get out of a dangerous situation no matter how big or strong your assailant is.
‘Text me when you’re there’
A saying our mums always say, and we usually take for granted, but it’s completely worth sending a text to say you’re home safe and sound.
Turn on your location
There are various location sharing apps like ‘Find My Friend’ or you can share your live location on ‘WhatsApp.’ Make sure you share your location with your loved ones, so you know everyone’s safe.
- If you don’t feel safe on your journey home, here’s what you can do:
- Go to the nearest shop to seek safety
- Don’t be afraid to attract attention to yourself – scream, run and shout for help
- Call 999
- Try and walk around in busier areas and stick behind a large group to blend in that you’re not alone
- Walk home with a friend
- Carry a rape whistle
- Carry a key between your fingers for quick hammer strikes; avoid using your fingers as it can injure your hands
- If you are attacked, focus on targeting their weak areas such as eyes, noses, groin, shin and toes; anything to disable them long enough to get away
It’s really upsetting in 2021 we have to discuss unsettling topics like these but it’s important you know how to keep yourself safe.