The dos and don’ts of walking late at night

Walking late at night can be an intimidating experience for women. It’s easy to feel nervous and vulnerable when the sun goes down and the streets become less populated. But these simple steps can make staying safe far more manageable.

Woman walking at night

Do take a self-defence course

Of course we hope that defending ourselves physically isn’t something we will ever have to resort to. But it is important that you have the necessary tools available if such a situtation becomes a reality. There are many self-defence courses made specifically for women that inform ladies of what they can do in dangerous situations. Some places even offer a free trial so you can get a sense of what the class entails. Taking such a class can provide you with a wealth of knowledge that is good to have, regardless of whether you ever have to put it into practice.

Don’t distract yourself

It’s natural to want to distract yourself when you feel uncomfortable or even bored. If you’re walking home late from work, you may be tempted to listen to music or text your friend, but this is something to avoid. When you appear to be distracted, you can seem like an easier target. You are less likely to see or hear what is going on around you, and that could put you in danger.

Do walk with confidence

You are more likely to become a target if you appear to be lost or confused. Seeming like you may be vulnerable or in need of assistance can cause you to attract unwanted attention. Even if you do wind up a touch lost, walk with confidence. And, if necessary, stop into a well-populated store to ask for help.

Don’t get lost in thought

No one enjoys a long walk home, especially at night. And it’s natural to want to distract yourself and get lost in your thoughts. But this can be a dangerous thing to do at night. You may become so wrapped up in your head that you forget to pay attention to what is going on around you. Aim to think externally rather than internally. Stay alert to what is happening around you. Keep your head up, and use your peripheral vision to ensure you are aware of all your surroundings. When you seem alert, you are less likely to invite unwanted attention.

Do travel the safest route

It may be tempting to take a shortcut through a park or alleyway when walking late at night, but stepping into darker, less travelled territory can be a dangerous idea. Wherever possible, stick to main streets that are better lit and more highly populated. It may be frustrating to have to take a longer route, but getting home safely is what really counts.

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