3 STEPS to be SAFE if you're being followed by a stranger

Jun 10, 2021
young alone woman being followed by a stranger on the street and worried for her physical safety and fear being attacked, robbed, or raped.

We've all been here in this SCARY situation.

  1. Enjoying your beach side morning walk on a busy city trail and a person on a bicycle continues to follow you and take pictures of you.
  2. Running in your local neighborhood during your early in the morning and you're followed by a van. You start zig-zagging your way through the neighborhood and since this car/van continues to follow you, taking the longer route and keeping up your pace, you now know that you are indeed being followed.
  3. Walking home from a bus stop after a late night shift. If you're a student, nurse, ER doctor, or work at a lab, bar, store, etc. you've been here. The night is quiet and scary as is, now image a strange man starts following you home.
  4. Hiking in the wilderness and encountering into a person who won't leave you alone, while you have limited cell phone reception.

A small study shows that 75% of women are followed or will be followed at least once in their lifetime. My personal dataset puts that closer to 80% for women over 24 yrs of age.



So what can you do? Here's a list of easy actions you can take:

1. Confront the person. Ask him: Are you following me? I know this sounds scary and you might feel like you'll be judged or feel embarrassed if you're wrong. These feelings usually stem from a lack of self-worth and self-esteem. Empowered women don't worry about what strangers think of them. If the person genuinely wasn't following you, he'll just apologize and go ahead of you. If the potential follower does make you feel bad, then you KNOW that he's up to no good. Don't worry about a stranger "judging" you and an abuser making you "feel embarrassed". If you think that these feeling continue to haunt you despite what you know you SHOULD do, then here's a FREE training that will jumpstart your empowerment journey.


2. If the potential follower doesn't respond to your confrontation or ask, then it's time to escalate. You take a picture of him and call 911 very visibly while he can see that you're doing so.


3. In 95% of the cases, your potential follower will RUN! If he doesn't, then he is likely to charge at you and attack you. If this happens, don't think that you did the wrong thing by confronting him. He was WAITING for the right opportunity to attack you anyway. You just made him do the same when the playing field was even and when YOU were at an advantage (it wasn't a surprise attack and you were in a more public setting) than when the FOLLOWER was at an advantage (quite space and he jumps you from behind). So if he does charge at you, to grab you and put you in a van or hit you or other reasons, then know that you did THE RIGHT THING by confronting him because you made HIM SCARED and act irrationally. At this point, you SCREAM, SHOUT, YELL for HELP, move your whole body and fight as hard as you can.

If you don't feel like you have the ability to fight off an attacker, then get realistic self-defense training that is:

  • Female-Body Oriented
  • Realistic Counter Attacks Based
  • Teaches empowerment techniques like self-worth, body language, communication etc. to PREVENT these attacks from happening

If you're unsure where to start, schedule a 20 minute call with us and we'll share with you 3-5 things YOU can do for YOURSELF based on your needs and get you started on your training for free.


Police Officer's Advice on TOP 4 Scenarios on Being Followed



 Wishing you a safe travel home!


Fauzia Lala is the Head Coach of Defense Ninjas and women's safety & empowerment expert based in Seattle. You can follow Defense Ninjas on Instagram and YouTube