“Human dignity insisted on the right to walk, a rhythm not extorted from the body by command or terror.” Theodor Adorno
Walking is an all-embracing endeavour that invites almost anyone to enjoy the many pleasures that it has to offer. Unlike other pastimes and forms of exercise that require special training or equipment, walking is the great leveller. However, it is this very accessibility that can compromise your safety.
There is no lifeguard to keep a watchful eye on walkers, no umpire to identify unfair play, and there are no screening processes to keep the bad guys out. Walking unites the good and the bad, the vulnerable and those unscrupulous enough to take advantage of walking enthusiasts.
- Don’t let the bad guys spoil your fun – here are some safety tips for walkers:
- Many people enjoy walking alone, and their
- solitude which allows time for reflection. If you are a lone walker, be
- sure to always stick to well-known, well-populated areas, and never go
- walking alone once it gets dark.
- Ensure that you let someone else know your intended route, and when they can expect you home.
- Keep your cell phone handy, but do not use it unless absolutely necessary – keep your wits about you at all times, and don’t allow yourself be distracted by calls.
- Potential attackers try to hone in on people who aren’t paying attention to their surroundings, so whether you are alone or walking with a partner remain observant at all times. Those walking in pairs are often at a higher risk, as they become so engrossed in conversation that they miss the obvious signs. You don’t have to walk along in stony silence, but be sure to pay attention tothe route you are taking, and the other people around you. Attackers are far less likely to prey on someone who is alert and attentive.
- Carry a whistle to attract attention if you need help. The sound will often scare off an attacker.
- Do not carry visible wallets or purses which can make you a target.
- Walk during the day with your dog for added safety.
Be careful, be sensible, and be alert. And above all keep walking.