General Question

evegrimm's avatar

How can I be safe at night when I'm coming home from school? Please see details.

Asked by evegrimm (3695 points ) November 16th, 2009

I recently got a job (yay!) and I’m doing a tonne of training this week so that I can get done quickly. Tomorrow, for instance, I’ll work from 3:30 to 7pm, then the same on Thursday and Friday, and then working all day on Saturday and Sunday.

Unfortunately, my mom is seriously paranoid about me being out at night, which, while something I worry about, isn’t that big of a deal to me. Call me crazy.

What are some things I can do so that my mom sees that I’m making an effort to be safe at night?

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20 Answers

chelseababyy's avatar

Call her, reassure her (when possible) that you’re okay. When you leave to go to work, call/text her. When you get there, do the same. And then when you leave and get home. Even if it’s just a, “Hey Mom, I’m home from work” type deal, she’ll appreciate it. Also, maybe just for the sake of doing so (and it’s honestly just a good idea) get one of those mini-mace cans that goes on your keychain.

avvooooooo's avatar

There are also a variety of stun guns and tasers in cool fashion colors. Like pink! :D

kellylet's avatar

A few ideas:

You could take a self defense class
Have someone walk to your car with you
When you get in the car lock your doors right away
Always be aware of your surroundings & people around you
Stay in well lit areas
When driving and when stopped at red lights,especially at night leave at least a car length between yourself and
the next car
Have your keys in your hand ready to unlock your doors so you don’t have to fumble around in your bag
Try to keep your hands open & free

shadimirza's avatar

A couple of things off the top of my head:

1) Walk with a friend. There’s safety in numbers.
2) Stick to lit paths.
3) Carry a whistle or some sort of pepper spray.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Park in well-lit areas. If there’s a security guard at work, ask if there’s an escort service to walk women to their car, and use it. Lock your car doors as soon as you get in. Carry your cell phone at all times. Always make sure you have enough gas.

Edit: Just saw the tag about bus riding. Be aware of your surroundings. While headphones make you appear preoccupied and unapproachable, they can limit your awareness of what’s going on around you. Do you have a friend or roommate that you can call from the bus who will meet you at the stop and walk home with you?

FishGutsDale's avatar

Yeah +1 for the self defence classes. You will feel safer knowing you can look after yourself.

Dale

AshlynM's avatar

Call her before leaving work to assure her that you’re safe and on your way home.

Think about getting one of those mini mace cans that fit on your keychain. If you ride the bus, I’d forget about listening to mp3 players or ipods. Makes you an easy target. If you have a car, try to have your keys ready to go before getting in. Saves you time from having to dig for them in your bag.

Overall, just be aware of your surroundings and always try to look like you know what’s going on. Don’t walk with your head down or arms crossed.

zephyr826's avatar

Be aware. That’s my best advice. Don’t text or zone out while walking, and look like you’re confident. Stay to well-populated streets for as long as you can. You should be fine.

valdasta's avatar

@All: Great answers! Lurve everybody…

@evegrimm—It almost sounds like you want to put your mom’s heart at ease, but you will take care of yourself – won’t you?

Women that avoid eye-contact (looking down or away) are targets. Look people in the face with confidence; the ole’ “what are you lookn’ at?” look.

jfos's avatar

Don’t frantically look around and behind you and whatnot, but look around—don’t just focus on your car as you’re walking to it.

HGl3ee's avatar

Take a self-defense class. They are not usually that expensive and will be a great tool to have no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Any sort of “weapon” such as a can of mace or a taser can be taken and used on you if you do not know how to properly defend yourself. Spraying pepper-spray can backfire so easily in a slight breeze blowing your way.

Weapons that have been talked about regularly in my city are things such as long umbrellas and a heavy set of keys on a lanyard. A weapon that can be used but keep you at a distance from the person will keep you out of grabbing distance.

If you really feel that you’d like to carry a defense weapon, then take the self-defense course and talk to your instructor to be properly shown how to use them.

Your safety is very important! But don’t wait for it to happen, be proactive and learn how to kick some butt!!

drClaw's avatar

My wife carries pepper spray on her key chain, which makes me feel a little safer when she is by herself at night. The one thing I would caution with any sort of weapon is to learn it inside and out, I say this because any weapon you have can be used against you.

SarasWhimsy's avatar

Never keep a set pattern. Take different ways home each night and try to make it home at different times.

mowens's avatar

If anything happens, which if you follow everyone’s advice you should be fine.

I hate to be serious, but to some up a self defense class…

Remember this, one of the following has to be within reach at all times: Eyes, Crotch, feet, and mouth. Stomp their feet. Poke them in the eye. Kick them in the groin. Do anything you can to get them away from you.

I hope you never have to use that advice. Is driving home an option?

avvooooooo's avatar

I always carry my keys in my hand ready to defend myself with them if I’m alone and its late. That means wrapping your hand around the key chain and having a key in between each of your fingers. I’ve never had to defend myself, but I could do some damage if I swung a fist with metal bits sticking out at someone and connected.

chelseababyy's avatar

@avvooooooo Such a good idea. Slightly like a makeshift pair of brass knuckles.

avvooooooo's avatar

@chelseababyy Exactly. And kinda sharp too. I end up putting my longest key (car key) between my index and middle fingers and go from there. My car alarm button is also in my hand then if I’m close enough to my car to be able to use it to attract attention. When you think of how you can cut someone with a not-so-sharp ring if you punch or backhand them, it seems like a better and better idea. I think I got the idea from some self-defense thing or another. I’ve never had to use it (being built like a brick shithouse and not being a “delicate” looking female helps in one way), but I might be able to do something if I had the need.

Kraigmo's avatar

Any city that is dangerous at 7:30 PM, is a city that is dangerous 24 hours a day.

There’s nothing extra-dangerous about 7:30 PM in most places. Nocturnal criminals don’t begin their actions till after people are in bed.

Violet's avatar

Get some good pepper spay and get a good taser. Keep one in your hand until you are in your car with the doors locked. It’s also a good idea to look inside your car before you get in. You can even do a walk all the way around your car. Another good idea, is not to park in the same place/parking lot every night. Switch it up. When you do walk to your car, maybe walk one aisle over, and then cut through to your car.
Don’t forget to lock the door when you get in your car!
Also, don’t be talking on the phone, or looking through your purse while walking to your car. Pay attention. Look around you. It’s ok to be paranoid.
Oh ya, it’s also smart to keep paper spray or a taser in your car, in case someone care jacks you and takes you with them.

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