Walking alone at night has often been a topic of discussion amongst my friends and the difference in opinion on how safe you actually are is always brought up. Some subscribe to the belief that it is silly to be fearful all the time, and the chances of something happening are too slim to fret over. While I partially agree with this, I also believe that there are some steps that can be taken to promote your safety if something were to happen.
You shouldn’t have to check over your shoulder or worry about your safety, but the world isn’t perfect, and we shouldn’t pretend it is as such. That is why there is a multitude of legitimately helpful advice out there that can not only help you avoid situations but also get out of them with your life, as some are not so lucky.
**Disclaimer: These are just suggestions. Options that involve close contact should only ever be used as a last resort, with running, yelling or screaming as a first choice.
Avoid Listening to Music When Walking Alone at Night
If you possess the gift of hearing, use it. Listening to your surroundings increases your chances of hearing someone if they are behind you or acting in a threatening manner.
Pick a Smart Route
If you know you are going to be walking alone or in the dark, take a proactive step and plan a route home. Avoiding unlit areas, wooded paths, and alleyways is an excellent place to start. Walking along main roads increases your chances of being spotted by motorists and other pedestrians if something does go wrong.
Tell Someone Where You Are
Even if you think your roommate is asleep, text them and let them know where you are and the route you plan on taking. It sounds morbid but having a timeline of your movements can be helpful if something were to ever happen.
Purchase a 1000 Lumen Flashlight
1000 Lumen flashlights can be purchased on sites such as Amazon and provide an intense beam of light that is both disorienting and intimidating. Some brands have different settings that create strobes and SOS light signals.
Keys Between Your Fingers
It's illegal to carry concealed weapons such as knives or bear spray, so why not use your keys. If you have a lanyard, you can wrap it around your hand to keep the keys more secure and have the keys poke out of a closed fist, resembling wolverine claws.
Emergency SOS on iPhone
Most updated iPhone have this feature. If you click the side button on the iPhone 5 times, the SOS option will appear. Slide to confirm and you will be connected with emergency services.
Take a Martial Art or Self-Defence Class
There are multiple opportunities to join Martial Arts and self-defence classes offered through The University of Waterloo for a reasonable price. Choose one that is right for you and gain skills to boost your confidence and ability to protect yourself.
Unless it is absolutely necessary, avoid using ABM machines alone at night. Many assaults and robberies occur in these types of situations as criminals prey on vulnerable targets in an enclosed/secluded place, who have their card in the ABM machine, and limited room to escape.