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    Anon because I don't want people that I know to worry about me.

    I have a job that starts really early in the mornings (I cannot change my work hours - this was something I knew when I started but I really needed this job). I have to walk for 30 minutes at 6am down a bunch streets which are deserted and dark (minimal street lighting). My route goes through housing estates and a couple of 'main' roads but drivers wouldn't see a walker because the pavement is lined with trees. I live in a big city and the crime rate in this area is fairly high - there's a lot of violent crime/robberies from what I can see on the police crime map.

    I feel really unsafe. There is no bus route near my house that runs from 6am to get
    to where I'm going. I don't trust taxis in the dark by myself - I don't feel like that would be much safer at all after the stuff I've read online about taxi drivers raping/killing lone females. I don't drive yet and have no one to accompany me on my route. I can't take a bike, firstly because I have't got one and secondly I have to get 2 busses after this walk and it's really impractical.

    What can I do to make myself safer and what am I legally allowed to carry to defend myself? I was going to take a screwdriver in my coat pocket but does that mean I have to have a reason to be carrying it....like doing some DIY and forgetting it was there or something? Thanks.

    Sorry to hear about this. If you can afford it I am sure you could speak to a taxi firm and have regular trusted drivers. Aside from this there is walking briskly and confidently, keeping your hair up if long and wearing sturdy shoes. and maintaining vigilance. The screwdriver must be a bad Idea as it could be used against you and may be illegal too. A loud alarm and attending a self defence class would be good. The police may have some advise to give too. I think it is terrible that people, women in particular, face this fear after dark alone. I've heard that men are just as much at risk, but as a matter of principle I will never give up the right to walk at night.

    Is there a local taxi company that has female drivers? It's worth checking out a few taxi companies, I often have shifts where I leave work at 2am (no buses) and the taxi company I use is a large company with good reviews. They have a system whereby they text me the vehicle model / colour and the registration plate before the taxi arrives, which is reassuring. I've been using them on and off for a couple of years now and have never felt uneasy.

    What about taking a bike, do you have one? For some reason it always makes me feel much safer even though technically there is little difference to walking. And that way it doesn't take you as long and you don't have to pay for a taxi every day!

    The chances are you will be fine, I'm sure it's more dangerous later at night than early morning.

    a few options:
    - take a bike and lock it up near the bus stop or cycle the whole way to work
    - get a self defense alarm and learn some self defense skills
    - arrange a taxi with a company - you will be safe doing this as they know who you got in a car with so they're not likely to attack you when it's easy to trace back to them, it's private and unbooked taxis you should be concerned about
    - make sure someone checks their phone for a text from you when you're on the bus and safe
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