There are a few basic habits we can develop to lessen the likelihood that we become victims of muggings, robberies or rapes.
Walking at night
Unfamiliar areas where at all possible.
Run-down areas that look “dodgy”.
Areas you know to be lower class areas.
Darker, deserted or unlit areas near popular night spots.
Anywhere in a major Australian city after midnight if you’re alone.
Walking close to buildings with doorways or corners.
Walking down poorly lit paths – especially regularly – criminals come in two types – the spontaneous and the planners.
(Most rapists will stalk a victim for some time to learn their routines and when they’re most vulnerable).
On public transport
Public transport in Australia is of such low quality (dirty, dangerous, unreliable, used by the elements of society most likely to attack you), avoid it if you possibly can.
Especially avoid using public transport, especially trains, in any major Australian city after evening peak hour if you possibly can.
Sit as close to the driver compartment as possible.
If a criminal threatens or stalks you, shout “Fire!” as loud as you can – people will come running out of morbid curiosity. If you shout “Help!” – you’ll most likely be ignored!
When out drinking
You’re really playing dice with the Devil if you drink too much and are out alone, without at least one sober, reliable friend, at night.
Buy your own drinks, only accept drinks from people you trust or ensure you receive the drink directly in your own hands from the bar tender.
Having said “from people you trust,” I note that you ought only trust your family! (Well, mostly!)
Don’t trust casual acquaintances, work associates, or their friends.
Never, ever leave your drink unattended and unwatched.
In the car
Don’t drive with your doors unlocked or windows down.
To park at night, do so in a busy, well lit place and park as near to the attendant’s office or exit as you can.
Don’t park near bushes or a hiding place.
If you’re meeting, or waiting for, friends at a car-park (which isn’t the wisest choice), stay in your locked car until they arrive.
If someone attacks you in your car sound the horn as long as you can. If you can turn on the alarm from inside the car, do so.
Don’t pick up strangers or give strangers a lift – ever.
In the home
Don’t sleep with open windows without a security screen.
Never sleep in a house with the doors unlocked.
Always have a heavy torch by your bedside – it serves both as an instant light source by your side and as a weapon (Magnalite torches are excellent).
Have your mobile phone nearby as you sleep (not next to your head – the jury seems to be coming in on mobiles likely being a source of dangerous electro-magnetic radiation if kept close to you for lengthy periods).
Know where an object that you can use as an environmental weapon is located in every room in the house – a screw driver, kitchen knives, walking stick, scissors, shower cleaner spray etc.
I think most people would say I can look after myself, but, I’m always alert and aware of the above advice – and yes, I do have a large Magnalite within reach by my bedside. No, I’m not paranoid – but – I’m also not Mary Poppins. There are psychopaths out there. Some estimates are at the rate of 1% of the population. Add in the “everyday idiot” and hoon clown bunch (they’re a far higher percentage of the population than psychopaths!) and you have to conclude being alert is better than being assaulted!