1. Be aware of your surroundings
When walking in the streets, make sure you are alert and fully aware of your surroundings. Try not to scroll on your phone while walking as it distracts you from your environment and make sure you are fully focused and aware on what is going on around you. Being alert will help you react quickly in case of emergency. Also try to change up your typical route, as someone may have noticed you taking the same path over a certain period.
2. Let you family know by what time you will be back
If living with your family or significant other, make sure they know what your plans for the evening are and with whom you are going out. Are you going out with longtime friends, a date, or coworkers? Fill them in on what your plans for the evening are and let them know by what time you think you will be back so they can take immediate action if they don’t hear from you.
3. Carry a personal safety alarm or pepper spray
It is always a good option to carry a personal safety alarm or a pepper spray to be able to protect yourself if ever attacked. Thanks to its loud siren, a portable alarm will quickly attract attention if you are under attack, while pepper spray will allow you to defend yourself if someone tries to harm you. Do a few rounds of practice occasionally to get comfortable using such devices and to be fully prepared in case of emergency.
4. Let your friends, coworker know how you are getting home
If leaving an office function or a party with friends, be vocal about how you are getting home. Are you just walking or are you taking public transportation, a cab, or an Uber? Letting your entourage know about this (plus assuring them that you will text them once safe at home) will help them notice if anything is wrong.
5. Trust your instincts
If you feel like you are getting some insistent looks or unwanted attention and start feeling uncomfortable or unsafe, don’t hesitate to change route or turn around to a more crowded area. You will then be able to ask for assistance if needed. If you feel like something weird is going on or if someone is following you, don’t hesitate to ask for help to bystanders or call for help. Better be safe than sorry!