It is normal to feel more anxious about your safety after something traumatic has happened. But you are likely to feel less worried over time.
Remember that you are never to blame if someone sexually assaults you. Unfortunately, there will always be people who are violent or aggressive. Although you can’t stop them behaving like this, there are some practical things you can do to reduce your risk of coming to harm.
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- Carry a personal alarm.
- Carry your keys in your pocket not your bag.
- If someone grabs your bag, let it go. Your safety is more important than your property.
- Know your routes home, to work and so on.
- Mark out places such as shops, cafes or friends’ houses on each route that you can use as ‘safe houses’ if something happens to you.
- If you are walking alongside a road, face oncoming traffic to prevent someone approaching you from behind.
- Be wary if someone asks you for help. A potential attacker may be trying to hook you in by getting your sympathy first.
- If you are approached and feel threatened and cannot move away, be vocal and try to tell others around you. Then go to the nearest busy place or anywhere with lots of lights on and call the police.
If you are going out, plan how you will get home. Find out when the last bus, Tube or train leaves, and know how you are getting home from your stop. Make sure you have your Oyster or travel card with you or enough money to pay for public transport or a taxi home.
- Use busy, well-lit bus stops if possible.
- Stay downstairs and sit as close to the driver as you can.
Stay in well-lit areas. Many stations now have Help Points with both emergency and information buttons
Stay near the ticket office or platform staff until the train comes.
Tube and train carriages
- Look for a carriage with several other passengers, preferably not all in the same group.
- Use front or middle carriages – they are less likely to empty suddenly.
- Check where the emergency alarms are in the carriage.
Taxis and minicabs
- Always use a taxi (black cab) or licensed minicab to get home.
- You can pick up a black cab on the street, book it in advance or find one at a designated taxi rank. It will have a light on the front displaying the word ‘TAXI’.
- Always book minicabs in advanced through a licensed minicab operator with a private hire licence.
- Never accept a ride from a minicab that stops in the street – the driver is breaking the law.
- When you book your minicab, confirm the cost and ask for the driver’s name, and the make and colour of the vehicle.
- When it arrives, make sure it is the minicab you ordered – check the driver knows your name and where you are going and ask to see their driver ID.
- Sit in the back with your phone switched on.
- Use TfL’s Cabwise service – simply text CAB to 60835 to get three local cab numbers – or use a taxi and minicab app on your smartphone to book a ride.
- Avoid using poorly lit car parks. Whenever possible, choose a staffed car park and park as close as you can to the attendant.
- Make sure the inside light is working. Shut all windows. Lock all doors. Note exactly where you have parked your car.
- When you go back to your car, have your keys ready so you can get in quickly.
- Before getting in, check the back seat to make sure no one has climbed in.
- Once you are in the car, lock the doors immediately and drive off quickly.
You can find more safety tips at: