How to Stay Safe When Walking Alone

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By Tan Walker | UAB Community Health and Human Services Intern

Photo by Rene Asmussen on

It is more common for people to walk alone than you think. Some people walk to work, around a college campus, walk home, or even just to their cars. Although people don’t think twice about walking alone, there is always a higher risk for something dangerous to happen. 

Unfortunately, violence is an urgent public health problem, and it affects people in all stages of life. It can also lead to a lifetime of physical, emotional, and economic problems (Violence prevention home page, 2021). In 2019, more than 19,100 people were victims of homicide and more than 1.5 million were treated in hospital emergency departments for an assault-related injury (Violence prevention CDC, 2022). 

Safety should be the number one priority when planning to go anywhere.It is important to have a plan for safety in place to ensure that you are protected. A few things to consider when walking alone include:

  • Always being aware of your surroundings 
  • Don’t wear headphones when walking by yourself
  • Don’t daydream as you walk
  • Consider walking with a friend or family member
  • Hold all personal belongings close to your body and in sight
  • If you sense danger, move quickly to a safe location
  • Carry a small weapon with you to use for self-defense if needed

Listed below are a few weapons that can be used for self-defense:

  • Pepper Spray
  • Pocket knife
  • Taser or Stun Gun
  • Concealed Gun
  • Panic alert button on your cell phone

Having a safety plan in place when walking alone won’t lower the risk of violence, but it will help people like you and me to be better prepared for anything coming our way!

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, September 28). Violence prevention home page. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, January 18). Violence prevention at CDC |Violence prevention|injury Center|CDC. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from 

Homedefense. (n.d.). How to stay safe while walking anywhere alone. Home Defense Academy. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from,wooded%20areas%20away%20from%20public%20view.%20More%20items 

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