I’m not going to lie – the recent robbery at gunpoint and wave of graffiti in my neighborhood has me a little worried. As a single 20something woman I already am conscious of my surroundings nearly wherever I go, but it’s something else when I have to be careful when I step outside my front door. However, you can never be too careful, and I thought I’d take this week to pass along a few safety reminders, especially for all the single ladies out there.
- Try to park in a well lit area, and avoid walking in a dark alley without a companion. A dark area is an unseen area – and is a perfect setting for a crime. Though many of our neighborhoods are street-lit at night, consider going for your jog in the morning after daybreak instead of at night when shadows can lurk. (Plus, nothing is more refreshing at 6 a.m. than a jog during a not-quite-warm-yet summer morning. And it’s way less scary.)
- Carry as little as possible outside of your body – large purses and backpacks will only make you a target in the dark. I like to leave my purse under my car seat and stick my debit card, cell and keys in my jacket pocket in the evenings if I have to run to the store. Or, even better – leave the purse at home entirely.
- On that note, dress appropriately if you have to go out alone at night, and while that’s good advice for the girls, everyone can benefit from this idea: don’t attract unnecessary attention. You never know when that fake Rolex that’s been fooling your girlfriend for years will also fool someone else that now you wish it hadn’t.
- If you find yourself running to QFC, running around the block, or running from bar to bar at night more often than you’d like, consider some self defense. True Value (22803 44th Avenue West) sells pepper spray for $11.99 – a must-have in every girl’s purse (I keep one in my bag within reach at all times – thanks, Dad!) You may also want to look into self defense classes – Seattle Tae Kwon Do, here in MLT, offers them for adults (and children, too.)
- Ditch the iPod. If you’re walking somewhere at night, don’t listen to music – not only will it tune out oncoming traffic (and we all know how people drive at night,) but you definitely won’t be able to hear a potential predator on foot.
- Try to run your errands during the day – especially grocery shopping. The more things you have in your hands, and the less you are able to use your body as defense, the less you will be able to fight off a threat. I know I love the grocery store at night (hello, no lines!) but I’d rather, you know, live.
- If you’re driving, take a walk around your car before getting in (you never know where someone is hiding) and make sure you lock the door as soon as you get in the car (repeated: you never know where someone is hiding – and we have all seen enough CSI to know what can happen inside a car.) Carry your keys in your hand after you get out of your car – they are also great self defense (aim for the eyes.)
Do you have any safety tips for evenings in MLT? Sound off in the comments.