9 ways to stay safe when walking alone

Learn how to avoid dangerous situations with these walk-safe tips.

By Carlye Malchuk

Tips 1-4

In life, there are times when one should just take a risk and be daring...but walking alone is not one of those times. Women who walk alone -- especially at night -- are at risk of harassment, or even assault. Yet no matter how you try to avoid it, it's almost inevitable you'll have to walk by yourself at some point -- to your car, front door, or perhaps the corner store. Make sure you follow these tips to stay safer.

1. Keep your keys ready
Even if it's a quick jaunt from your front door to your car, it's a good idea to keep your keys ready at all times. Hold on to them inside your pocket. Then, bring them out holding the proper key in position as you approach your car or front door. This will eliminate fumbling around in your purse for them outside, which will distract you from your surroundings.

2. Walk with confidence
Walk with confidence and purpose when you're out solo. Keep your head up and don't be afraid to make eye contact with those you pass. Walk at a steady pace and walk facing traffic to keep yourself visible. If you get lost, don't wander aimlessly. Keep your pace steady and head for the nearest store or restaurant to ask for directions.

3. Trust your gut
When out alone at night, your instincts are your best friend. If you are worried someone is following you, turn around. Let the person know you're aware of their presence. Don't head straight for your car or home, but go to a nearby store or restaurant, somewhere public and safe.

4. Carry a noisy friend
Keep some kind of noisemaker on your keychain or pinned to your jacket. A personal alarm or whistle can be used to let those around you know when something is wrong.

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