Many walkers fear being attacked or mugged by a stranger. You need to “look forward to being attacked.”
There is no technique or tip or weapon to guarantee you won’t be attacked. If you have been attacked, and you are reading this, you did the right thing – whatever you did allowed you to survive. You won. The bad guys have surprise on their side and even the best martial arts expert can become a target.
If it happens to you, don’t agonize over coulda-shoulda-woulda. You survived. You won.
Choice of Walking Routes for Safety
- Walk indoors: Treadmills are an option for those who do not have a place to walk they consider to be safe. Some sports facilities have indoor tracks as well. Use the further tips below to stay safe in the parking lot or to and from your home.
- High pedestrian traffic areas: Bad guys don’t want witnesses. Being in view of a well-traveled vehicular street is good, but having people on the path with you is better.
- Open areas: Paths lined with bushes and trees are pleasant for walking but afford many hiding places for the bad guys and places they can take you to finish their crimes out of view.
Deterrents to Attacks
Strangers aren’t out to attack YOU. It is nothing personal, they are just looking for a target of opportunity. Your goal, therefore, is to look like somebody who will be too much trouble to mess with.
Awareness Is Key in Survival Situations
You can often avoid a self-defense situation completely if you make the effort to be aware in everyday situations. By following these steps, you can prevent a crime before it even happens.
First, make sure you’re watching what’s happening around you – not looking at your phone. You might be able to spot a potential criminal just by what they’re wearing and their behavior.
Stay away from people wearing clothes that do not match the current weather conditions, such as heavy coats on a hot day or other clothing where weapons can be concealed.
Then, you should be able to tell by what they’re doing. People who are wandering around aimlessly or monitoring certain places should be avoided. They might be on drugs or waiting to catch an innocent enough looking person who isn’t paying attention to their surroundings.
If someone is very suspicious, don’t hesitate to call your local police about a suspicious person – especially if they’re just waiting around in a parking garage. The police will appreciate you trying to keep the streets safe, even if the person turns out to be innocent.
Really, it can usually come down to common sense. If people look suspicious, stay away. If people are doing suspicious things, stay away. Look around for other suspicious people who may be working with one another. Take note of their genders, sizes (height and weight), skin tone, clothing and hair style, and other distinguishing features so that you can report it to police.
Sometimes, you can prevent even more dangerous criminals from succeeding. If you see someone suspicious leaving packages around a highly populated event, such as backpacks and boxes, call the police.
Given recent events, they could very well be leaving bombs or other dangerous materials. This could also be a drug trade. You should also be wary of people trying to access areas that they’re not supposed to.
This can mean utility closets, restricted areas, and rooftops. This is especially relevant if you work at a company or office, and someone you don’t know is trying to get into sensitive areas of the building. You should also be wary of unexpected delivery trucks.
Watch out for any unexplained smells or packages – especially ones near HVAC systems. Leaving these unreported can result in a lot of damage for the company. While it might not be an attack on the building, it can be a gas leak or other dangerous malfunction.
Another warning sign for these areas would be dead animals concentrated around one spot. This means someone suspicious has planted dangerous chemicals, and this should be reported to 911 immediately.