You decide to go for a late-night walk in your neighborhood. It’s been a rough day, and you just want to go out for a little while to clear your head. You’re enjoying yourself until suddenly you hear what sounds like footsteps behind you. You turn around to see what it is and realize that someone is running towards you with a knife. Although this is a situation that we hope we’re never faced with, there is the possibility that something like this could actually happen. It’s always a good thing to be prepared, so read on and keep those shoulders back.
Do as They Say
You should never try to be a “hero”. This means that if someone is pointing a gun or knife at you, you should comply with his or her demands. No amount of money or other item is worth your life. If someone demands your watch from you, give it to them. The main point to remember is that safety should be your main concern.
When you have the opportunity, you should always try to run away from your attacker. There’s no need to fight if you don’t have to. The attacker could have a knife or gun, which they could use to seriously harm or kill you; running isn’t going to change that but it may startle them enough to save your life. When you run, try to get to a public area, or at least a house with the lights on, and call 911.
Avoid Dangerous Situations
You should try to avoid unfamiliar areas of town, especially late at night. In these situations, you could get lost or not know where to run for help. Avoid walking through strange neighborhoods if you can, and when driving, make sure that your doors are locked and never talk to anyone you don’t know; don’t even slow down if somebody looks like they intend to approach your car.
Armed and Dangerous
Many people may be uncomfortable with carrying a gun, but you can protect yourself with non-lethal weapons as well. You might want to consider buying a Taser or a can of pepper spray. When you have the opportunity, you could incapacitate your attacker, giving you the chance to run and seek help.
Yell for Help
One of the best things to do when being attacked is to yell. This can bring attention to yourself and your attacker. The goal is to get someone to hear you so that they’ll call the police. Your attacker doesn’t want to be seen or heard by anyone else, so this may scare him and cause him to run away so that he doesn’t get caught.
Stay in Well-Lit Areas
Light can be your best friend and prevent you from being attacked. Criminals want to be able to commit crimes without being seen, so it’s likely that they’ll avoid an area that is well lit. If you have to make a late-night trip to the drug store, make sure that you park underneath one of the lights. It will make it harder for an attacker to hide and surprise you in this kind of setting. Go to ATM machines that are located within a grocery store, not in a parking lot or duck-in corner convenience store; thieves may be casing the area and can observe you through the glass window.
Strength in Numbers
It’s always best to ask a friend to come with you if you’re running an errand, or if you just don’t feel comfortable being alone. An attacker is much less likely to harm or rob you if you’re with a friend or a group of people. The criminal probably won’t take the chance of having to fight multiple people at the same time.
Always comply with an attacker’s demands, run when you can, avoid dangerous situations, carry some sort of weapon, yell for help, stay in well-lit areas, and avoid being alone as much as possible. A lot of this advice is common sense, but it’s good to review and think about what you would do if you were attacked in real life.
Greg Wagner is an avid boxing fan and credits martial arts for giving him more strength and confidence as a teenager. He is also a content contributor for Boxfituk, an online retailer of boxing gloves and other boxing equipment.