You’ll probably be the first to say that I am right when I say that there are city areas where even trained combat professionals step on their toes. It is not because of fear, but it’s just old-fashioned common sense.
But what can you actually do about it? How can you defend yourself on the street? How can you protect yourself from harassment, crime, or even direct assault?
It turns out that you can actually reduce the chances of you being in such a dangerous situation. But there’s a catch. Read this carefully:
- every situation is different. What we post here is common-sense advice, but it may not apply to your situation. You are 100% liable for how you interpret the information posted here.
- if you or someone you know are in immediate danger, please contact law enforcement immediately
- our lawyer is going to be very happy for posting this disclaimer
Know Your Surroundings
Knowledge will keep you safe on the street.
Every major city has an ill-famed area that is riddled with crime, drugs, prostitution, etc. This is a very important step, especially if you are a tourist or a visitor and do not know the city as a local might.
Do your research on dangerous areas of that city. Our friend Google comes in handy once again. Just search for terms such as:
- city-name dangerous areas
- city-name bad neighborhoods
- highest crime area in city-name
You will find plenty of forums, webpages and news sites that will hopefully give you an idea of which areas are dangerous. Websites such as City Data list crime rates for cities and their neighborhoods, along with other related data.
Avoidance Is Your Best Defense
Best street defense strategy is avoidance:
- avoid dangerous neighborhoods
- avoid direct contact with people that live in those neighborhoods, unless absolutely necessary. (I have to deeply apologize to the many, many good people that live in those neighborhoods, but there is no easy way to determine fast what are the intentions of a total stranger). T
- avoid going to bars, clubs or other places where alcohol is served. No need for me to say what alcohol + bad neighborhood does for you or for your antagonists
Hide Your Valuables
For goodness sake, do not flash valuables when you are in an unknown, potentially bad neighborhood.
If you need clarification, valuables are:
- expensive watch
- expensive looking shoes
- expensive car
Flashing refers to wearing said valuables, leaving them in plain sight (such as on your car’s dashboard) or generally tempting criminal elements by showing your worldly goods.
Walk Like You Belong
Criminals will smell your fear and think that you are easy prey. They will also pick up on most challenges on their turf. You need to be somewhere in-between: not overly scared, but not challenging either. If you can’t avoid being there, best defense on the street is not attracting attention.
Stick To The Main Streets
Do not go on side-streets if you want to protect yourself from gangs, attacks, harassment or even street dogs.
Chances are that there are more people walking on the main streets, even at a late hour. If you are lucky, there even might be a crew or two of law enforcement officers patrolling the main streets. Trust me, you’ll never appreciate their work as you will at 3AM in a bad neighborhood.
Self Help Institute is a self help and personal protection blog. Some of our favorite topics are:
- prepping & survival
- personal protection
Read more about how to protect yourself from danger.