No matter who you are or where you are, there is always a risk when you’re walking alone at night. As nice as it would be to feel completely safe at all hours of the night, there are always dangers out there.
For this reason, it’s important that we all take the necessary steps to maximise our safety. This is especially important for women and children who are, unfortunately, at a higher risk of being assaulted or raped than men.
Ideally, we would all avoid walking alone in the dark. But this isn’t always possible. Some of us might work late into the night and our only method of getting home is via public transport or by foot. If you’re a university student, you might enjoy a weekly night out every Friday or Saturday, after which you travel back to your accommodation alone.
Regardless of the reason you are walking home alone, it’s essential that you know how to protect yourself. There are a variety of methods that you can use to ensure that you stay out of danger or know how to get help if you are in danger.
Top Tips to Protect Yourself at Night
Following these key steps below will help you to feel safer when you’re walking alone at night. They will also be extremely helpful in the event of an attack to help you defend yourself or alert help from those nearby. Women are especially vulnerable in the UK and we want to change that.
1. Carry a Personal Safety Alarm
Personal safety alarms, which are also known as attack alarms or rape alarms, are small devices that can be carried on your person or in your bag. They can be activated quickly and easily if you are in danger.
Personal safety alarms work by emitting a loud, unpleasant sound that alerts anybody in the nearby area that something is wrong. This enables you to get immediate help if you’re being attacked and it can also scare the attacker away.
Carrying an attack alarm around with you may also act as a deterrent. Many attackers won’t make a move if they spot an alarm on your person because they know that you can easily draw attention to yourself if they do so.
Attack alarms are a convenient, affordable, and effective way to keep yourself safe. They are appropriate for anybody, whether you’re a student, an adult, or an elderly citizen.
2. Find a Friend
It’s not always possible to find some company for your travels, but if you can, you should always bring a friend along with you. There is safety in numbers and most attackers are less likely to go through with their intentions if you are surrounded by other people.
If you’re on a night out, stick with your group of friends and share a taxi home. Even if your friends don’t live nearby, you can always arrange to stay at one another’s houses so that you can travel home together.
3. Keep Your Valuable Out of Sight
When your valuables are in sight, they can attract potential attackers. Valuables include your electronic devices, expensive jewellery, or your bank cards.
You should always keep your mobile phone hidden in your bag. If you need to reply to your friend’s text or call your parents, you should do so when you are in a busy area where there is a reduced chance of you being attacked or mugged.
Keep any sparkling jewellery hidden under your clothing or take it off and keep it in your bag while you travel home. Jewellery can shine even in the dark and this might catch the eye of a potentially dangerous person.
Keep your wallet or purse carefully tucked away in your bag, and make sure your bag is fully zipped and close to your body. This will make it much harder for somebody to steal your belongings when you’re walking alone.
4. Pre-Book Your Taxi
No matter how close to home you are, booking a taxi and getting dropped off at your door is often much safer than walking home, especially if you’re on your own.
You can now pre-book taxis and arrange a pick-up location and time. Make sure that you use a reputable and reliable taxi service that you can trust.
When your taxi arrives at your specified pick-up location, the driver should always confirm who you are based on the details you gave when you booked. This confirmation is beneficial for both you and the taxi driver. It ensures that the taxi driver is picking up the right person, and it allows you to confirm that you are getting into the right car.
If a random driver attempts to offer you a lift home, politely decline and move to a safer, busier location. Never get into a car with somebody that you don’t know and trust.
5. Learn Self-Defence
Everybody can benefit from learning the art of self-defence. If somebody tries to attack you late at night when you’re walking alone, you have a better chance of protecting yourself if you know key self-defence movements.
Most places have self-defence classes that are open for the public and all you need to do is sign up! Classes can range from beginner-friendly to advanced, so you can progress if you want to learn more. You don’t need to learn every single potential self-defence movement, but knowing the basics can make a huge difference to the outcome of an attack.
During self-defence classes, you will be taught by a professional self-defence expert. Your lessons will teach you how to get out of compromising or vulnerable positions. You may also learn how to protect yourself if somebody tries to hit you.
If you can’t get to a local self-defence class, there are lots of amazing videos online that you can watch and learn from. Head over to YouTube or find some great self-defence blogs to learn the basic movements and try them out at home. Get one of your friends or family members to act as the ‘attacker’ so you can put theory into practice.
6. Carry Other Personal Safety Products
It’s not just personal safety alarms that you can carry around with you to maximise your security at night. You can also get additional tools that will enhance your safety and protect you during an attack. Some popular safety tools include flashlights, whistles, and pepper spray - however, pepper spray is currently illegal in the UK.
Flashlights won’t necessarily protect you if you are getting attacked, but they may help to deter attackers from making a move in the first place. Many attackers wait until you are in a dark area of the street before trying to grab you.
If you keep a bright flashlight on and shine it in every direction as you’re walking down the street, you can illuminate the street. This helps you to see where you’re going and quickly spot any potential attackers.
A whistle works in a similar way to personal safety alarms. They make a loud noise that alerts anybody nearby and catches their attention. Whistles are small and portable so you can carry one around with you in your pocket or bag. If you’re in danger, you can easily grab your whistle and blow it to get help.
Pepper spray is not legal everywhere. If you would feel safer carrying this tool, you should first check the laws of your local area so that you don’t end up in any legal trouble. However, if pepper spray is legal where you live, it’s worth getting yourself a bottle. You don’t need a permit to carry it, and it’s a highly effective method of protection if somebody tries to attack you
Pepper spray contains a chemical compound that is an irritant to the eyes. When you spray it in an attacker’s face, it will cause a burning sensation that limits their vision for up to 24 hours. Stun guns work by temporarily disabling or paralysing the attacker by using a non-lethal shock.
It’s imperative that you know how to use pepper spray properly. If not, you might accidentally hurt yourself instead of the attacker.
Staying safe is imperative at all times of the day, but it becomes particularly important during the night time hours when it is dark and quiet. Following the above steps will ensure that you can protect yourself if somebody tries to attack you when you’re alone at night.
Learning how to keep yourself safe can literally make the difference between life and death, so it’s always worth spending the time and money investing in the right protection tools and techniques.
If you’d like to purchase your own high-quality personal safety alarm, check out our Ashley alarms. We want to help every woman feel unstoppable in their daily lives. Our alarms are stylish and minimalistic, and have a long-lasting two-year battery, so you can feel safe and confident, no matter where you are!