It’s hard to say whether crime is going up or down in the US and whether or not the data reports the whole picture, but regardless of the situation, everyone needs to have a safety strategies plan.
But it’s easy to say that the crime rates are too high and that being aware, using good judgment, and practicing personal safety strategies is important to keep every family and individual safe.
Here are 4 personal safety strategies for everyone to tuck into their belts.
1. Pay Attention To Exits In Crowded Spaces
Pay close attention to your surroundings by taking note of where you entered and where you can get out. Be especially vigilant of exits in crowded spaces like nightclubs, malls, concerts, convention centers, and even outdoor arenas with controlled entrances and exits.
Knowing where the exit doors are is one of several mass shooter safety training rules to prepare for and respond well to shooter situations. If you can’t stay close to the doors, pay attention to where they are located, so you can move to that exit swiftly in case of an emergency.
2. Travel In Groups And With A Purpose
Walking or traveling in groups is a safe way to go. Walking alone makes you more likely to become a target for someone who may harm others, and when you are in groups, most potential attackers will not target you because they would be outnumbered.
If you are ever in a situation that makes you uncomfortable or unsafe, ask someone you know and trust, like a friend, public safety official, or reception agent, to walk with you to your destination.
Simply having someone walk with you to your car or to your destination can prevent an act of violence. Never be afraid to ask for this help!
3. When Walking Alone, Stay Alert To Your Surroundings
If you have no choice but to walk alone, stay alert and aware of your surroundings, don’t dawdle, and don’t walk distracted.
Here are some common safety rules of thumb to follow when you’re walking alone:
- Don’t wear headphones.
- Walk with a purpose and to a destination.
- Don’t use your phone while you walk.
- Keep an eye out for anyone following you.
- Only walk the routes you know.
- Carry pepper spray or a personal safety weapon or tool in one hand.
4. Don’t Talk To Strangers
You might remember this advice from when you were a kid, and it’s true for adults, too: don’t talk to people you don’t need to talk to, and follow your gut instincts.
If someone approaches you that you don’t know, aren’t expecting to see, and don’t need to talk to, don’t engage with them. In crowded public spaces, this could be someone offering you a pamphlet, an informational packet, or even a mixtape. To be the safest, politely avoid those you don’t know.
Final Thoughts For A Safer World
Unfortunately, personal safety in public is getting harder to keep up with as the world changes and grows. It is more important than ever to do everything you can to stay safe.
But fear isn’t the answer—practicing personal safety is. You can keep yourself and your family significantly safer in public just by staying aware of your surroundings and listening to your gut to avoid situations that seem risky.
If you end up in a dangerous situation, you will be more likely to get through unharmed if you know where you are, where you’re headed, and if you travel with a purpose and awareness of your surroundings.
Don’t let fear lead you, but rather, confront fear with personal safety strategies to help the word continue to evolve into a peaceful place for everyone.