Whether you are male or female, walking home at night is never completely safe. There are countless stories of people who were on their way home in the dark and fell victim to a serious violent crime. Knowledge is key when protecting yourself, so knowing a few of the dangers and how to overcome them can potentially save your life.
Mugging is a common crime that often happens at night. The mugger will use a weapon or physical force to intimidate the victim. Teenagers are likely targets for these crimes, as they usually carry cash, cell phones and MP3 players. If you are being mugged, especially with a weapon, you should give up your things. Valuables can be replaced, so it is not worth risking your life.
Rape can happen at any time, but nighttime gives rapists a certain degree of cover. Rape is forced sexual contact that does not necessarily involve sex. Females are the most common victims, but it happens to males as well. Rapists can use drugs or weapons to render the victim incapable of defending herself. According to Crisis Connection, the United States has the highest rate of rape out of every country that tracks this statistic. If you are out drinking at night, never leave your drink unattended. Also, avoid accepting drinks from strangers.
Walking home in the dark carries the risk of being assaulted. There are many motivations for assaulting someone, but as of 2011, a trend has developed known as "happy slapping." This involves a large group of people who randomly isolate and attack someone for fun, and then tape the event and post it online. Regardless of how you have been assaulted, it is important to seek medical help and inform the police.
Although walking home in the dark is risky, there are ways to stay safe. Try not to go out alone at night. Bring at least one more person. Always stay in well-lit areas and avoid using shortcuts through dark places. Stay away from large bushes or doorways where someone could be hiding. If a person in a car asks for directions, stay far away when answering and never approach the vehicle. If you think you are being followed, immediately go to a well-lit, public area. Finally, never openly show cash, especially when leaving an ATM.