If you have older children, you may want to take the time to remind them about the following especially with summer fast-approaching...
Sometimes the dark night quickly falls upon us while visiting relatives or a neighbor. We may have walked over to his or her home and now we are left walking in the night. We have a choice to remain positive and brave or negative and scared while allowing everything we have heard in the media to permeate our ears. With a cautious mindset and positive outlook about walking alone at night, one should be less fearful about a possible attack.
One. Don't ignore your gut feelings.
Every human is built with “that feeling.” You know the one that tends to go in overdrive when you are about to make a decision that you shouldn't. It is an annoying, uncomfortable, and sometimes scary feeling. You ought to listen to it if you experience it before walking alone at night. Stay where you are until the feeling passes, then set out on your trip.
Two. Prepare for your walk.
You can do this by carrying keys in your hand between your fingers, a heavy duty flashlight, pepper spray or anything else that makes you feel somewhat at ease. All of these things can be used to fight off an attacker. If you don't have any of these things, then while walking pick up a stick, large stone or something else that is somewhat heavy and carry it with you.
Three. Watch and listen for any peculiar noises.
Moving shadows, strange noises behind bushes, dark vehicles and houses, and tall objects should all be noticed when walking. Distance yourself from the area in question if you feel an individual or animal is behaving strangely. Don't go to the noise to investigate. Sometimes criminals use noises and what seems to be harmless things to lure people such as leaving a baby unattended, asking for help to solve a problem, and faking an injury which leads us to the next point.
Four. Don't stop to talk to strangers.
Unless a person is warning you of pending danger, there is no reason why a stranger should come up to you in the dark and converse with you. Immediately you should think, “This person doesn't know me, what does he/she want?” Pick up your pace and carry on any conversation while walking, never bothering to stop. This way the person will more likely leave you alone.
Five. Avoid the temptation to run from four-legged animals.
A human can't out-run a healthy, active four-legged animal; therefore, it is better to stand still if you have nothing to fight off an attack. Allow the animal to sniff you, but avoid making eye contact.
Six. Keep out of alley ways.
Although this is common sense, plenty of people walk in areas out of public view because they are short-cuts that lead to home. They are also a good place for criminals to hang-out for victims passing through with wallets and purses too.
You can stay safe when walking alone at night if you think through your path getting to your destination in advance. Don't set out walking if you have no idea where you are going. Whenever you can, do walk with someone. Try not to walk when you are intoxicated, because this will make you an easy target for a criminal to take advantage of you.
By Nicholl McGuire