Walking alone at night can be very scary and dangerous, especially if you’re a woman. There are always news stories about people preying on women in these situations.
People often advise women to walk with a friend, but sometimes, it’s hard to have someone to walk with you - and that’s okay. However, there are ways for those who like to walk alone (or don’t have a choice) to stay safe.
Photo: Timothy Eberly on Unsplash
Call a friend. I’m putting this tip as number one because this is how I feel safe when I walk alone at night. I typically call a friend to let them know that I’m walking home by myself and ask if they can keep me company. Having a familiar voice with me when I walk home alone always puts me at ease. Usually, when I’m on the phone with them, I let them know exactly where I am, what I’m wearing and if I see anyone around (just in case).
Carry pepper spray. This will depend on your state, as I know some states unfortunately won’t let you carry pepper spray. In Massachusetts, it’s legal to carry it, so if you are walking alone, have it in your hand or within easy reach.
Carry your keys/keychain in your knuckles. I like feeling protected by carrying my keys through my knuckles so that I have a “weapon” to protect me if anything happens. I used to carry my keychain collection on a necklace for protection, but now, I just carry my keys in between my fingers.
Carry an alarm keychain. This alarm is specifically to scare your attacker. Any time that you feel threatened, you press the button to set an alarm. Usually, this alarm is loud enough to scare your attacker or alert people around you that you’re in danger.
Install “Circle of 6” app on your phone. It’s basically like sharing your location with a “circle” of people that you trust. If you need a ride, there’s a specific icon for it. There’s also a danger button that you can activate that connects you with hotlines for victims.
Install an alarm app on your phone. This is related to the alarm keychain, but just in case you don’t have one, you can easily download this app onto your phone. It’s free and you basically push a button on the app. Then, the phone makes a scream noise in a woman’s voice that’s extremely loud. This is great for anyone who is unable to scream loudly or at all.
Turn your locations on. I don’t mean to turn them on for everyone. Turn your locations on for people you trust, like a sibling or best friend, so that they know where you are without you having to text them. I check my best friends’ locations numerous times throughout the day just to make sure I know where they are.
Carry a whistle. This is related to an alarm keychain and the alarm app. For those of you who feel more comfortable using a whistle, I highly suggest keeping one in reach when walking alone at night.
Don’t wear headphones or earphones. This can block your hearing so you may not be able to hear if someone is creeping up on you. You can wear them without playing music to fool people into thinking you’re not aware of your surroundings, but in general, it’s better to not have them on so that you can hear better.
Walk in areas that are crowded or have tons of lighting. Of course, at night, there may not be a lot of people, but try walking along a path that is commonly busy. If you know a shortcut and not many people take that way, try to avoid it. Take the popular, common path that most people take, and always walk where there are streetlights. This will help you to see the neighborhood and who’s around.
Women shouldn’t have to feel scared to walk alone at night. Hopefully, these tips help you to protect yourself. It’s always better to be prepared and safe.
My name is Linda Tran. I'm 24 years old from Boston and I'm majoring in Marketing with a concentration in Social Media at the Southern New Hampshire University. A fun fact about me is that I learned coding and HTML at the age of 11.