Walking alone, especially at night, can be quite dangerous. While violent crime is actually declining across the country, women still face a disproportionate amount of harassment and assault when they’re alone, walking down streets, or just simply going for a jog. Whether they’re going to class, work or just minding their business, up to 45% of women in the US don’t feel safe walking alone at night. Obviously, emergency situations can be addressed by calling 911 or by yelling for help if bystanders are close by, but what can women do to further protect themselves? Here are some safety tips for women.
1. Carry Protection
Although you may hope that you’ll never have to use it, carrying some form of protection is a very smart move. It can be reassuring knowing you have some way to protect yourself can be reassuring. It’s important to distinguish between “carrying protection” and carrying a concealed firearm. Depending on your state’s firearm laws for civilians, you may not be allowed to carry a concealed gun in a purse, bag or pocket. However, there are many legal and non-lethal self-defense items including pepper spray, tasers, and even lipstick stun gun.
2. Phone a Friend
This tip actually has multiple benefits. It’s a great way to catch up with friends and family while also protecting you. Having a familiar voice on the other end is comforting, and if something happens to you, at least one person will know immediately. We recommend that you tell them you’re walking to your car or home but that you keep your senses aware even while talking! This is one of the safety tips for women, which is also great if you’re taking public transportation or simply riding in a cab, Uber, or Lyft vehicle.
3. Self-Defense Training
If you don’t feel comfortable carrying some form of protection around or you want to be ready even at all times, self-defense training is a fantastic option. Not only is it useful for protection, it also has many mental and emotional benefits. In fact, the University of Washington suggests it boosts your self-esteem as well. Self-defense training can be as simple as watching DVDs or videos on YouTube. Or, you can check out local academies, gyms, and martial arts centers.
4. Run: Yet One of the Effective Safety Tips for Women
This tip doesn’t pertain to physical exercise, though being in good shape is definitely an advantage in an emergency situation. It’s important to remember that for most cases, the smartest thing you can do is to simply run away from your attacker. It puts distance between you and at the same time helps to bring as much attention to yourself as possible. By bringing the attention, you can either scare off your attacker or get help from nearby pedestrians or police officers.
5. Share Your Location
If you have to travel alone, make sure that others know where you’re if you feel unsafe. If you have a mobile smartphone, or specifically an iPhone, you have the option to “share your location” with friends and family. This connection can be made for either a limited time or you can choose to share permanently. We recommend that you share your location with a trusted loved one, friend or even a coworker so that they can simply check where you are if they haven’t heard from you.
Stay Safe Anywhere. When in danger, it’s hard to think clearly. So, practice safety measures every day to stay prepared. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail! However, the safety tips for women with quick thinking, self-defense or life-saving devices, you can stay safe anywhere you go.