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
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.
5. Know what to do in the worst-case scenario
The best defense against an attack is awareness and action. If you are faced with an uncomfortable or dangerous situation and you can escape, do so immediately. Only you can determine what you can or will do when faced with an attacker. Self-defense moves and tips can be found from various web sources, or through community self-defense classes.
6. Avoid struggling with lots of bags
Struggling with five different bags at night as you make your way into the house can be a fact of life, but you should avoid it whenever possible. Multiple bags can prevent your ability to react quickly should a dangerous situation arise.
7. Avoid hiding spots
Parked cars, dark alleys and unlit corners of parking garages are all places that you should avoid when you’re out alone. Keep yourself in visible places on the sidewalk or street as much as possible.
8. Choose your footwear wisely
Choose footwear that is comfortable, such as runners. If necessary, wear one pair of shoes to the office and bring your indoor footwear in a bag.