Tips for staying safe in a variety of situations
tips and tricks for keeping you and your belongings safe when in public spaces
With the resumption of the world continuing to move forward and progress through the changing stages of the pandemic, we are now faced with a choice: do we continue to hide in our homes and ignore the world as best as we can like we have been doing for months, or do we go out and face the world and all the events it has to offer? Regardless of what you choose to do or the capacity in which you choose to engage with it, there are a variety of ways that you can keep yourself out of harms way.
This brings me to why you are here reading this article. I am sure you saw that this is tips and tricks for keeping yourself and your belongings safe in public. It never hurts to get a reminder of the ways that we used to protect ourselves as well as gain new perspectives on potential ways to do this in the future.
The first thing that is very easy to do in theory but may be hard to do in practice, is ensuring that you take stock of your physical surroundings. This means that you will make a mental note of anyone in your environment, if there are any immediate threats to safety for you or others, and that you alert someone if your feelings of discomfort become too high. There are a variety of people that you could alert depending on the situation that you are a part of; this may include security, staff, friends, peers, or family. You can alert them verbally, through a text or also through something handwritten as it depends on the situation you find yourself in as well.
Now that we have discussed a few different ways to alert someone if you are unsafe what are some more preventative steps that you can take to help minimize the risk of becoming unsafe? One major thing to think of is going out to places in groups, especially if it is late at night. Regardless of how you identify or appear physically and if you are somewhere that alcohol may be a factor or not, it is important to bring someone with you. Not only is it typically more enjoyable to have someone you know come with you to events, but it is also more difficult to be targeted if you are not unaccompanied.
It is also wise to think about the way in which you are dressed. I am not talking about making yourself a target by wearing something a little short. It is important to wear things that allow you to store whatever you need to bring with you in a way that it will not be touched or contaminated by another person. If you are going to a night club wear pants with deeper pockets so you do not have to bring a purse. Going to a house party? Make sure that you have a bag with you to keep your drinks in, so they are not on a communal countertop. Doing a daytrip to an amusement park? Make sure that you have a deep bag and something to place inside on top of your valuables in case someone tries to reach into it. The importance of both your attire and choice of accessories is vital to help keep you and your belongings safe.
The preventative measures do not stop there! If you are going somewhere that you are not familiar with it, especially on your own, it can be helpful to talk to someone else that you know who has been there before. Knowing the layout of the space, the expectations of the atmosphere and the types of people who may be there will allow you to prepare yourself accordingly. If you do not know what you are walking into you are more likely to be caught off guard and it is more likely to unknowingly walk into a dangerous situation.
If you are going somewhere alone, or if you are meeting someone that you do not know or have not met in person before, tell someone where you are going. It is a wonderful safety mechanism in case you find yourself in a bit of a jam or just feel uncomfortable and would like a way to leave. What you should let them know is where you are going, what time and roughly how long you expect you will be there. This way if you have not contacted them by a specific point in time to either give them an update or to let them know that you are home safely you have somebody on deck to check in on you.
Now, all of these precautions and suggestions may seem a little unrealistic or unnecessary, and I can see why you might think that. However, these are some things that you do not need to do all the time as many are specific to the environment that you may be going into or the people that you will be with. If you are going out with friends for dinner at your favourite restaurant, you are probably okay to ignore most of these suggestions. But it is also nice to have something to keep in mind when preparing to go into foreign situations as well.
There is nothing more important than your safety and helping to keep those that you love safe as well. It can be as simple as needing to send a text message or as extreme as driving a fair distance to go get a friend out of whatever situation they have found themselves in. Although situations vary in severity and in potential risk knowing how to keep yourself safe and reminding other how to as well never hurts.