Be safe at night – Make like a gecko, drop your baggage and run.
Whilst statistically you are no more likely to be attacked at night than in the day, these attacks do tend to be more violent. Life is good, attacks are rare, but they do happen and when you are not expecting them. This is just in case, prepared always does best. Do not be afraid, be strong and aware.
As part of a team, I used to teach self-defense to woman. Here is some of the advice that has stayed with me and I can share on the page. It is worth noting that 90% of this is common sense and gender neutral. To my daughter, please find space in your bag for a light pair of socks in a plastic bag. If you find yourself staggering home after too much to drink, alone, in high heels, take them off, put in the bag and put the socks on before you start. Better sore feet and ruined socks than a ruined evening. To my son, do not be a hero, anything but your life can be replaced. Let them take it. To my children, always think about how you are going to get home before you start your evening if you are going to drink. Travel with someone else or take a taxi. If this is not possible then try and remember something from this list.
1. Before you start out, put any keys in your pocket as they can be used in self-defence. Put treasured items in another pocket. Money, cards, makeup, gym gear can all be replaced so let the bag or wallet go. Never put the straps of a bag around your neck or waist in an attempt to keep it safe. This could cause more problems. If you are out jogging hold your key as you would to open the door while you run.
2. Stay in well-lit, populated areas, walk or run under the lights, or if there is no lighting stay as far out to the road as is safe to do. Never walk close to shop doorways, even if it is raining and give corners a wide berth.
3. Walk or run facing the traffic, this is true day or night.
4. Stand tall, shoulders back and head up, hands out of pockets. Don’t be distracted by talking on the phone or listening to music, maintaining awareness of people and cars around you. If someone is approaching, male or female, look at them and say something. Hi, it’s cold, warm, wet, evening, just something. This is a tremendous deterrent to a would-be attacker, who looks for weakness and submission. If running still look up and acknowledge the person with a nod.
5. If the worse happens and you are attacked your best defence is, make like a gecko. Drop your bag, make noise and move. Shout’ attack’ or ‘fire’ rather than help as loudly as possible. It has been proved that these two words get a better response from the public. Let them have your bag if that is what they want. Throw it away from you and run away. If you have to fight, go for the eyes or genital area and punch as hard as you can.
6. If you are driving home, alone at night just be a little more vigilant. Have the car keys in your hand as you approach the car. Never hit the alarm before you reach the car or you are showing someone waiting where you are headed. Just check your car before you get in, as you walk towards it be wary if there is a van parked next to it. Lock the doors as soon as you are in and do not put your bag on the front seat. Remember these things night and day, make it a habit.
I repeat, life is good, people are kind, attacks are rare, but they do happen. Just be aware while you are enjoying yours, if you are ever frightened, call me.