You don’t want to be paranoid—but you should follow your intuition.
In other words, if you feel that something isn’t quite right, take note of it. Maybe a car slows down beside you while you’re out walking, or you sense that someone’s standing behind you in an empty parking lot.
If you think someone might be following you, you can take action to protect yourself.
Here are three tips to stay safe:
1. Stay quietly alert.
Though your instincts may tell you to panic, you don’t want to make a scene right away. Just stay alert and take note of what’s going on around you. Slow your pace, or speed up a bit—and see how the suspect responds. If they start to chase you, then you should run.
2. Find a busy area.
If you’re on a quiet street and think someone is following you, try to find a busier area. Search for a shop or restaurant, and keep an eye out for people who look trustworthy. If none of this is possible, shoot a quick text with your whereabouts to a friend or relative.
3. Plan a detour.
Taking a detour can help confirm whether you’re being followed. It can also help confuse the person who might be stalking you. A safe, effective way to go about this is to cross the street and start moving in the opposite direction. If the person sticks with you, call 911.
With these strategies in mind, you can work to stay safe—even if you fear you’re being followed. Be sure to contact the police if you’re under immediate threat.
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