I’m pretty fearless in life. There have only been a few situations where I have been worried for my safety and that was mostly using cars or other vehicles.
Once back home in Germany I was nearly robbed by a bunch of youths trying to grab my iPod at a crowded bus stop before adrenaline kicked in and I shouted at them long enough until they went away which was the same time the people around me asked me if I was ok. Helpful..
I’ve always held the opinion that I’ve never felt unsafe in the UK which is pretty much just Reading. Never had a problem going home after a late night out, even if my journey home was away from other people. Sure, this sometimes involved a detour, such as during an England world cup match in the Summer where it’s been obvious people had been drinking in the heat and sunshine since lunchtime.
This has somewhat changed since the burglary. Perhaps it is related to not feeling settled anywhere or living in worry that the same thing will happen again. For example there has been a change in my routine when I come back to where I’m staying which involves checking every room and wardrobe just to make sure there is no one that came in whilst I was gone. I am also more conscious about sleeping at night and now can’t sleep in darkness as I worry someone will think it is empty and attempt breaking in. This is manageable though and not something I’m worrying about at the moment as I’m convinced it will pass again with time.
What does worry me though is events such as Sian O’Callaghan’s murder. She was on a night out with friends and now she is dead with the details still being unclear. As far as things go she did everything right. She was with friends who later searched the entire bar to find her and had her boyfriend checking on her once she didn’t come back.
I often go out and, whilst that’s normally just a few drinks or round a friend’s house, I often find myself walking home on my own through dark streets in darkness. Again, this normally doesn’t bother me as I live close enough to town and major roads to feel safe, but there have been a few times lately where I realised I was needlessly putting myself in danger. Such as walking home from a friend’s a couple of weeks ago and realising just how dark it was. Or walking home the other night whilst reading a message on my phone with someone suddenly walking past me without me noticing them walk up behind me.
I think a contributing factor in making me feel safe has been taking Wen-Do classes throughout my teens which taught me self defense, as well as a proactive approach. This includes confidence and knowing what to do if I was to be attacked. These days I’m not so sure I remember enough from a class I last attended over twelve years ago.
Moving forward the plan is to be more careful. Not putting myself in dangerous situations and refreshing my self defense knowledge.