Living alone, going out and dating for the first time in many years can be a daunting prospect. Although the chances of attack from a stranger are far less likely than you may think, it is important to take reasonable steps to protect yourself.

"There were times when I was out and about in London and I forgot that I was on my own after spending an evening in a crowded bar surrounded by men and women I didn't know but talked to after a few drinks. I would find myself in a situation in the early hours of the morning in a bar, with my credit cards on me, unsure of how I was going to get home or exactly where I was".

"This man came to the door and said he wanted to replace my roof tiles. He asked me if I was a single homeowner and without thinking I said yes. Before I knew it he disappeared through my side gate and into my back garden. He was extremely aggressive in trying to persuade me to part with cash as a deposit for work I hadn't asked him to do. Eventually I threatened to ring the police and he left."

At home

  • Fit a door chain, spy hole and outside lighting, and use them to identify callers
  • Ask for proof of identity before letting anyone in. Their card should include a photograph, name and company. Call the company to check if you are suspicious, and trading standards or the police if necessary
  • Never take time to talk to cold sellers or market researchers on your doorstep. Tell them you are busy and close the door
  • Keep expensive items out of view of windows. Use nets or blinds and ensure that your property is secure. Your insurance company and local police can offer advice on ensuring that your home is secure
  • Obscene phone calls are a criminal offence. If you receive obscene or nuisance calls call the police immediately
  • Whenever you are going out, leave a couple of lights on, including the outside light for your return. A radio is always good to leave on 
  • Always tell a trusted person if you are going away, but don't talk about it publicly. Get a timer switch for your lights 
  • Join your local neighbourhood watch scheme, which has the added advantage of reducing your contents insurance

Out and about 

  • Plan carefully, know how you are getting to and from from your destination and prepare for the unexpected 
  • If you are taking cards, take some spare cash as well for emergency telephone calls, taxi fares etc. Keep all of your cards and cash in separate pockets 
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back, or leave a note including details of anyone you might be meeting 
  • Look confident and remain alert at all times. Avoid drinking excessively when you are out alone and remain in control 
  • Avoid an aggressive stance and confrontation. Try not to cross your arms, wave your finger or make remarks that might offend others. Try not to touch others unnecessarily 
  • Do not assume it will not happen to you, and never ignore your instincts. If you have a funny feeling about a situation or someone, act on it


  • Look confident and remain alert 
  • Dress appropriately and wear sensible shoes and loose clothing 
  • Stick to main routes and never take short cuts. At night walk along well-lit pathways and stick to residential or busy areas 
  • Always walk facing oncoming traffic 
  • If you do meet a problem walk away as fast as you. Head for a place where you know there will be people 
  • Yell or shout. Shouting 'fire' is usually a good way to get people's attention if you are out of the immediate view of other people!

Public Transport 

  • Plan your journey so that you wait at a well-lit bus stop or station on a main route, and know departure and return journey times
  • Have your ticket or the correct change ready 
  • In a train sit in a carriage with other people and on the bus avoid the top deck when it is empty 
  • Carry the telephone number and money for an emergency taxi 
  • Arrange for someone to meet you from the bus stop or train station if possible, or order a taxi if your house is not on a main road


  • Always carry the number of a reputable firm with you
  • Never take a lift from a taxi touting for business on a main road 
  • Book by telephone and ask for the drivers name and colour/make of the car 
  • If you are booking from a public phone, do not give your address and telephone number where people can hear you 
  • If possible share a taxi with a friend. Always sit in the back 
  • Have your house keys and money ready before you arrive home 
  • If you leave a light on before you leave home, it will look like someone is in waiting for you when you arrive home


  • Ask friends and family for recommendations and book with a reputable company
  • If you are travelling alone always keep your passport secure and money and travellers cheques in separate bags or pockets 
  • Check with the Foreign Office for up to date information on your holiday destination and further safety advice


Links for Singles

BBC Good Food
Recipes for One

Personal safety advice

Single parent support network

Meet Up
The site an app for local group meet ups in your local area

Advice on learning to be single and happy

Solo's Holidays
Holidays for single people

Suzy Lamplugh Trust
Personal safety advice

How to be single again

Click here for more links


Dating Safely

If you are ready to date again, whether you are looking for a casual encounter or long term relationship, it is important to be safe The following advice offers a common sense approach to taking care of yourself but don't get paranoid - attacks are rare and as long as you are sensible we'll sure you'll have a great time.

Click here to view our dating section which includes tip on dating safely.