With the Summer now a distant memory, Autumn is in the air and the long, cold nights are drawing in. Many students are navigating around a new, unfamiliar city. It is important to take extra care when out and about and avoid situations where you may be vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out! Being prepared will make sure your night out is safe as well as fun!
Try to not travel alone. Walking/travelling with friends will dissuade people from approaching you and stay in well-lit areas.
Charge your battery
Before you go out make sure you have a full battery on your phone. If you get into trouble you can quickly call for help or use maps or location apps such as google maps or what3words to let people know where you are.
Let others know where you are
Tell someone where you’re going. Before you go out make sure people know where you are going, if you are meeting people let them know when you are leaving, or text someone to tell them you have arrived safely. This way if you don’t turn up to a meeting or don’t arrive home when you are expected someone will know to raise the alarm. Try apps such as Find My Friends for apple or android to share your location with others or to find friends who may be nearby. Many of these apps also allow you to broadcast your location in an emergency situation.
Plan your route
If you know the route you are travelling you can tell friends and family so someone will always know where you are. If you are in an unfamiliar area and know where you are going you will appear more confident which in turn may prevent people approaching you. Stay away from alleyways, dark corners or unlit side streets.
Situational awareness can help to avoid dangerous situations. Avoid listening to music and carry something that you can wave around such as an umbrella or flashlight to deter attackers. You can also download an app to alert chosen contacts when you shake or tap your phone such as Holly Guard.
If you can get a lift or a taxi do it! Avoid walking alone and leaving yourself vulnerable.
Trust your instincts. If something feels ‘off’ it might very well be – your instincts are there to protect you. Always be aware of strangers – just because we are adults now doesn’t mean stranger danger stops being a ‘thing’!
But what happens if you are in an emergency situation?
- Have a plan. Have someone you can call to help you or pick you up.
- If you are confronted by someone stay calm and if they want your property or money give it to them, though if they want to harm you, run – if you can’t, fight them as hard as you can! Aim for painful areas such as: eyes, groin, throat, bridge of the nose or knees.
- Make noise – Scream, shout if you have an iPhone or android phone press the power button 5 times in quick succession, this will set off the alarm and call the emergency services. Attackers do NOT want to get caught.
- As soon as you get away, go somewhere safe; a shop, a nearby house then call the police, try and remember as many details as you can as well as a description of the assailant.
Written by Laura Cunningham, Social Media Editor
5th November, 2021
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