Stop Walking Alone: How To Keep Safe After Dark
Don't let predators get the best of you with these tips and tricks to keep you safe!
1. Use Common Sense and Preperation
At the end of the day, one of the easiest ways to stay out of a bad situation is to avoid walking into one in the first place. As you've heard since you were a kid, avoid walking alone at night, especially in areas where no one else is around. Due to the fact that things like car problems happen, make sure you're prepared by always keeping your phone charged and setting up an account for Lyft or Uber that you can always use in case of emergencies.
2. Be Mindful of Your Body Language
If you find yourself in a situation where being out alone in a bad neighborhood or after dark is unavoidable, there are still things you can do to be prepared. First of all, always stay aware of your surroundings and make sure anybody you pass knows you are aware of them. Look people you meet on the street in the eye, stand straight up, and always act like you know where you're going even if you don't.
3. Utilize Your Assets
Carrying pepper spray is never a bad idea but even if you find yourself out without it, you're never completely without a weapon. Keep your hand wrapped around your keys, with one of the keys poking out between your fingers when you make a fist. This will give any punch you may need to throw a more of a sting. Also keep in mind that your elbow is the hardest part of your body so if you need to hit somebody with it, do it.
4. Be Aware of Vehicles Near Your Own
Always be aware of the car parked next to you when walking back to your own. Avoid parking near large vans and if there is a male in the passenger seat of the car next to your own driver's seat, consider walking back into wherever you're coming from and asking someone to walk you out. Killers and rapists have been known to pull women into cars or vans while they are attempting to get back into their own and it's always better to be safe than sorry.
5. Avoid Stairwells
Always avoid stairwells, as they are a really bad place to be caught alone and are generally a crime scene waiting to happen. If possible, always take the elevator, but again, try never to get caught in one alone with a strange guy. If the elevator comes and a potential creeper is inside, explain that you are waiting for someone and will catch the next one. Same thing in reverse if you are the lone passenger and a sketchy looking guy comes into the elevator. Pretend that this just so happens to be the floor you are getting off at and wait to re-board when there are more people about to get in with you.
6. Refuse To Be Lured
Don't ever let a predator lure you into a more isolated area. Even if he's got a gun on you, the odds are only 4 in 100 that he will hit you if you chose to run screaming into the night and even less that he will hit a vital area if he does shoot. Complying with demands to go with him to an abandoned area will likely only have one of few outcomes and none of them are pretty.
7. In The Event That You're Taken Into A Car
If you are ever- God forbid- somehow forced into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail light and wave like all hell. This is guaranteed to peak the curiosity of any other drivers on the road enough that they will call 911. If you find yourself in a situation however where you are being forced to drive a car and can tell the attacker is trying to get you to an isolated area- again, do NOT let it happen. While you are still in a public area, your only option may be to slow down to 5 mph and crash the vehicle. It may not sound pretty but it's a sure way to cause a scene and make people run to your aid, at which point you can attempt to make your escape. If you attacker is driving the car, wait until he least expects it and attack, going for his eyes. Again, it may not be the most gentle option but it may be the only one you have at that point to save your life.
8. If All Else Fails... Hide
If someone is attempting to abduct you in a parking lot and all else fails, climb underneath your car and scream. There are plenty of things to grab onto under there so the attacker will be unable to pull you out.
9. Always Carry A Cell. Even an Old One.
Always keep a cellphone on you, whether it has service or not. Even phones that do not currently have service still work to dial 911.
10. Avoid Just Sitting In an Unlocked Car
Lock your car as soon as you get in it. Sitting in your driver's seat checking your phone provides the perfect opportunity for someone to get into your passenger’s seat and put a gun to your head.
11. Carry Extra Clothes
Always keep a set of flats and some warm clothes in your car, especially if you are going out at night. There's nothing worse than breaking down on the side of a dark road wearing nothing but heals and a skimpy top. If it's late at night, immediately change shoes and pull on the rest of your clothes and walk to the nearest lighted area for help. Sitting alone on the side of the street in a broken down vehicle is not a good place to be and leaves you wide open to any weirdo who comes along and offers his "help."
12. If You Fight Back, Do It Right!
If you are going to fight back, do it as forcefully as possible. The knees are a very vulnerable spot in anyone and kicking a would-be attacker in one of his is very likely to take him down and allow you a chance to run. Just make sure you do it right the first time because sympathy will do you no favors in this situation and is only likely to make your attacker angry and prone to become violent faster.
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