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Student Article - Muggins for Muggings
Author: Katharine Parsons
I am a student in my first year studying at the University of West of England. Before becoming a student, I was bombarded with advice about how to cook, how to wash your clothes, how to try to get up in the morning and how to wash, but one thing that was missing in this muddle of information was the issue of safety. There is plenty of infomation on how to keep your laptop and stereo safe, but little about how to keep yourself safe.

Since studying in Bristol, I have heard numerous accounts of incidents were students have been mugged. This is not only girls, as most people wrongly expect, but it is also young men. And it does not only happen in unlit areas at night as I thought, there have been incidents in the day time right outside the university campus.

I think it is essential that students are given the right message on how to keep safe. One of the tips I have put into practice is to no longer carry a handbag, and to keep about 20 on me so that if someone is after my money, I can just hand it over without getting hurt. It is also a good idea to think through what you would do if someone did attack you...don't spend too long thinking about it...but just think it through. I spoke to a woman who teaches self defence and she told me that one thing people can't stand is being thrown up on...I know it is a horrid thing to think about but if it's going to help you defend yourself it's worth knowing.

Obviously it is safer to walk in a big group at night when on a night out but also consider times when you haven't been on a night out, walking home from work for example. When I first arrived in Bristol, I started working in a bar in the centre and had to walk home at 3am through the central area. Naively I thought it would all be fine until I heard a few horror stories and ended up quitting my job. My advice would be to either get a day job or one close to your accomodation or if this is not possible, then make sure your employer helps you with a safe form of transport for you to get home.

Don't get me wrong, Bristol is an amazing city and it is just as dangerous as any other, but I think that for someone like me, who was brought up in a sleepy little village, this advice would have been invaluable to me. I hope it will help you too.

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