These days, going out, for any reason, seems to be more of a hassle than usual. Asides COVID-19 still being in town, there have been several cases of abduction, robbery, assault, rape and the likes happening more frequently. This makes it more important to ensure that you’re alert and all the right safety measures are taken.
It’s almost impossible to avoid going out completely, but for safety reasons, it is advised that any unnecessary outing be avoided during this time. If you have to go out, especially at night, here are some of the measures you can adopt to ensure you’re safe:
Make plans ahead of time
Now more than ever, outings should not be made without proper planning, especially at night. Plan your movements to and fro before you leave the house and always have a backup plan. Ensure your cash, phone battery, airtime and data are sufficient enough for the period that you’ll be out.
When going out at night, make plans for where to spend the night, to avoid being stranded or long-distance trips at late hours. Set your speed dial for emergency situations and if possible, have someone around the area you can call when you need help.
Inform people of your whereabouts
We understand wanting to be private about your whereabouts to avoid nosy people; but now is not the right time. It is important that you inform those around you of your outing, location and expected time of return. This way, it’s easy for people to notice when you've overstayed and begin searching before it's too late.
It is safer to share your live location and contact details of the person(s) you’re going to see with a trusted family member or friend.
Be sensitive and alert
It’s easy to notice strange movements/activities when you’re attentive to your environment. Stay alert! Have fun, but don’t get carried away. Drink responsibly to ensure you’re fully conscious of your surroundings.
Take note of the corners and people around you when you're in unfamiliar places. It is safer to go out in groups or at least, with one person. There is power in numbers.
Keep to main streets and avoid dark areas
Dark areas and hidden streets are riskier and make perfect zones for hoodlums and robbers to carry out their deeds without interruptions. When out, make sure to avoid lonely, dark and hidden corners.
When going to an unknown area, research on the location, ask people about it and prepare accordingly. Be careful when ordering rides online.
When booking online rides, make sure the details on the application match those of your rider. Speak up when you feel they are not being professional. End the trip, report the rider and alert someone you trust if you notice any funny behaviors.
In some cases, criminal activities like assault and rape are minimized when the victim has a form of defense. Pepper spray, tasers, blades, etc. are examples of things you can have in your bag or purse to defend yourself, if possible.
We hope that you find these tips helpful and apply them as you navigate life in this society.