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Safely Getting Around on Foot

  • Know where you are going before you venture out.

  • Always carry a flashlight.

  • Walk in the middle of the street if possible or the edge of the sidewalk, away from buildings. Make sure you can see what is lurking around a corner before turning in that direction.

  • Stairwells are dangerous places to be alone and are the perfect crime spot; take the elevator, but don’t step in if you have a bad feeling about someone who is already there; if someone gets on the elevator who makes you uncomfortable, press every floor; stand in the front by the doors so you can easily get off.

  • When returning home, make sure you have your house key in your hand before exiting your car. Hold it between your index and middle finger so it can be used as a weapon against an assailant. Having your key in your hand will also enable you to get into your house quickly rather than fumbling about on your key ring -- a fine motor skill that will be hard to perform when stressed and adrenalized.

  • Talking on the phone, as a safety precaution, is a poor self-defense technique: it gives you the illusion that the responsibility for your safety is in the hands of someone else. Personal safety is a personal responsibility: relying on another person to keep you safe is effectively adopting the mindset of a victim. While your mobile phone might make a good improvised weapon, and you should use the phone's flashlight in the dark, talking on your phone does nothing to dissuade an assailant from attacking you in the first place. On the contrary: if a predator sees you on the phone, they may believe - correctly - that you are distracted from what is going on in your immediate environment and profile you as a potential victim.

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