Tips: Be Safe on the Street

The Seattle Police Department offers tips to be safe while being on the street.

General Safety Tips

  • Follow your intuition -- trust your feelings. If you feel that a situation is not right, move out of the situation.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. In social situations, be alert to places and situations that make you vulnerable.
  • Walk confidently and alertly.

Being Safe On The Street

  • Be aware that walking alone at night may be dangerous.
  • If you are being followed or you see a person or group further down the street who makes you feel uncomfortable, cross the street, walk in another direction, or ask other people walking if you may walk a short distance with them.
  • Walk near the curb, in the middle of the street, and away from buildings, trees and shrubbery, which can hide potential assailants.
  • When walking near the car to your home or apartment, carry your house keys in your hand. Don’t stand in a doorway and fumble in your purse or pocket for your keys. Have them ready to use.
  • Use a grocery cart when you have many packages. You make a good mark when your arms are full.
  • Always dress so that movement is not restricted.
  • Try to vary your routine routes of travel. Most rapists have been found to study their victim's habitual patterns.
  • While waiting for public transportation, keep your back against a wall (or pole) so that you cannot be surprised from behind.
  • Know your routes. Notice lighting, alleys, abandoned buildings and street people.
  • Pick out places that you consider safer, places where you can either make a stand or reassure yourself that you are not being followed or watched (i.e., lit porches, bus stops, stores, etc.).
  • If you are going somewhere in a city with which you aren't familiar, check a map, know where you are going. Looking lost increases vulnerability.

If You Are Confronted

  • If may seem like a good idea to tell a robber that you have no money, but this technique may backfire. It is safer to give up a few dollars. Carry a little money separate from your other funds in an accessible place.
  • If someone demands your property and displays or implies in any way that they have a weapon, don't resist.
  • If someone tries to grab you, make a scene. Scream, kick, fight . . . do what you can to get away and attract attention.

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