When it comes to street crime, anyone can become a victim, and it doesn't need to be the end of the world for things to go horribly wrong. But often, staying safe on the streets at night can be hard, especially if you're working nights, are up early going for a morning jog, or are headed home from a night on the town. Luckily, there's a few ways you can avoid becoming a victim yourself, and today the team at APE Survival are going to cover how you can stay safe, because it's not just thieves you have to contend with, there are many others with a much more serious intent. Here's how to stay safe.
Don't lose focus When you're walking at night, especially if its dark and you're alone can be a frightening experience, and it's normal that you're going to want to take your mind off things. The trouble is though, especially if you've been drinking, that 'taking your mind off things' is going to put you in real danger. Do not get out your phone to start checking Facebook, message your friends, or even get your partner on the line, because these are all distractions. When you're distracted, it's far too easy for someone to surprise you, as you're not going to hear the footsteps coming up behind you, or see the person stepping from the shadows into your path.
Don't be a victim Anyone has the potential to be a victim, but unfortunately there are certain people who are targeted more frequently than others. Students are often picked, because they're younger, and more likely to be carrying expensive gear in their backpacks, like a laptop in addition to their phone and wallet. Plus, many don't come from the area, which can make them easier to intimidate. Keep your valuables close if you are walking at night, stay close to well-lit areas, and avoid taking a stroll alone.
Don't look like a victim There's another neat trick you can use to deter an attacker, and that is to portray confidence. Stand tall, be alert, and act confident, even if you're walking down a dark street at night. This sends an unconscious signal to a potential attacker that you may not be an easy target, and there's a chance they'll wait for another victim. Of course, the real secret to this is being confident, so take a self-defense class and learn how to throw a punch, you're less likely to become a victim if it doesn't look like you're afraid of every shadow you walk past.
Don't be quiet If you do find yourself in a bad situation, do not stay quiet. You want to make as much noise as possible, so your attacker cannot continue unnoticed. Rape-whistles will get scoffed at by your friends, but if you're ever in a situation where you need it, you'll be glad it's there to help you wake the entire neighborhood. The sound of glass smashing will also raise attention, especially if you follow it up with your screams. If you're ever approached by someone with ill-intent, make as much noise as you can, it can startle your attacker and give you a vital few seconds to escape.
Don't stay disconnected Of course the best way to stay safe at night is to avoid walking by yourself, especially if you live in a bad neighborhood. There's safety in numbers. Sometimes though, this isn't possible, so make it routine to check in with your colleagues or friends once you're home to let them know you're safe.
Don't do it alone If there are particular areas you walk through at night, you need to always have an escape plan in mind. Should someone approach you, would you know the best direction to run in, or would you simply turn and flee? The problem when you don't have a plan is this can backfire horrifically, especially if your path to escape sends you into a more secluded area. Pay attention to what is around you, and run to a place where there is other people. Convenience stores, fast-food joints, and even bakeries will be staffed late at night, or duck into a hotel or managed building and ask the security staff for help. There's nothing wrong with seeking assistance when you feel unsafe.
Don't take unnecessary risks Sure, cutting through the backstreets, that alleyway or even the park may save you five minutes from your walk, but you never know who is lurking in the shadows waiting to surprise you. When you're walking at night, stick to the pavement, and well-lit areas. If there's no footpath, walk on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic, so you're able to see the cars approaching you. This makes it more difficult for a car to sneak up behind you and catch you unawares.
Don't be afraid to get a cab When all else fails, call a cab and let them take you home. Of course you should never get into an unmarked cab, but there are plenty of legitimate operators who will ensure you make it home safely. Often this will be your best option, and the price of the fare is worth it for your safety.
Don't forget the details If you are attacked, pay attention to as many details as possible to help the police identify the suspect. Try to notice how tall your attacker is, features like their hair and eye color, the clothing they're wearing, and any noticeable identification marks like scars or a tattoo. If they escape on a bike or a car, do your best to remember the make, model, and the license plate number. This will greatly help the police track down the criminals who attacked you, which can stop them from hurting even more people. Staying safe on the streets at nights requires you to be vigilant. You can't let your guard down, especially when there's people out there with bad intentions who are waiting for you to do just that.