Safety tips for men

Young men are more likely to get mugged or in a fight than young women. Here's how to avoid violence and stay safe.

boy walking in the dark

Tip 1: Avoid dodgy dark alleyways....d'uh

Men aged between 18 and 25 are more likely to be attacked than anyone else in society. In fact, men are almost twice as likely to face violent attack than women. So let’s get this straight – personal safety is not just a women’s issue.

For some men, the fear of appearing weak can make them forget their personal safety in a potentially dangerous situation. Remember that even the most macho martial arts teach that it’s better to talk your way out of a dangerous situation – using violence is the last resort.

How to avoid getting into a fight

  • Try to be relaxed. You can escalate an aggressive situation if you are rushed, stressed or afraid.
  • Meeting aggression with aggression leads to confrontation. Talk your way out of problems: stay calm; lower your voice, speak slowly and clearly. Breathe out slowly to help you relax.
  • Each of us has a personal buffer zone which we can be quick to defend. Respect other people’s space as well as your own.
  • Avoid an aggressive stance: crossed arms, hands on hips, a raised arm is challenging and confrontational. Avoid touching someone unnecessarily. Look confident.

If you think you’re about to be attacked

If you do meet a problem, your primary aim should be to GET AWAY, fast. There is no shame in doing this; it’s the smart thing to do.

  • Walk away as fast as you can. Head for a place where you know there are people.
  • Don’t look back. Try not to panic. Blow out so you can breathe properly and reduce tension.
  • Yell or shout “Phone the Police” or other specific instructions to which people respond quickly.
  • Use a personal attack alarm to shock and disorientate an assailant. This will gain vital seconds for you to get away.
  • Report any incident as soon as possible. You may save someone else.
  • Physical self-defence should only be a last resort. It limits your options and commits you to a fight you could lose. It is not weak to walk away from violence.
  • If you see someone else in danger – ring 999. Ask for the Police and give a clear message with a location.

Avoid putting yourself at risk

Thinking things through and planning for the unexpected helps you feel confident and react well in emergencies.

  • Let someone know where you are going and when you will be back – or at least leave a note. If your plans change, tell someone.
  • Avoid using unlit or isolated cash machines.
  • Do not ignore your instincts, e.g. hackles rising at the back of the neck. Act straight away.

If you become the victim of a crime

Nobody knows how they are going to react if they become the victim of a crime, particularly if the crime is violent. Sometimes, victims experience feelings and fears which they find difficult to talk about to their family or friends. Call the National Victim Support Help Line on 0845 30 30 900 and talk to someone about it.

Photo of boy walking home by Shutterstock

Next Steps


staying safe


Updated on 29-Sep-2015