Ask Sam letter

Asker

To Sam

Is the UK safe?

Hi Sam, I may read the news too much but I’m constantly worried about being stabbed or attacked with acid and/or being murdered every time I go outside and it stops me from doing so. Any advice?

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

It's important to take steps to keep yourself as safe as possible when out in public, but there’s a limit to what you can do. The news and social media can make it feel like outside is more dangerous than it really is. Some places are safer than others and it's always important to trust your instincts. Most places are safe enough though, as long as you don't take risks.

It's difficult for me to tell you how to be safe outside in every situation, but there are some general things you can do to keep yourself as safe as possible. Avoid talking to people you don't know when out on the streets or in places like parks and remote places. If anyone ever asks you to go with them, make sure you say no and try to leave as best you can. If you can't leave then make as much noise as you can to attract attention to where you are.

The news has lots of stories about attacks with knives, acid and other weapons – especially in big cities. This can make it feel like these are common, but it's important to remember that it's quite rare for someone to attack people with no reason. At the first signs of danger you should always take the fewest risks and get out of the situation.

When the news is making you feel anxious it can be good to take a break from it. Hearing about things that worry you can make it more difficult to cope with them. Worrying about things in the news can then start to affect how you act – such as being too afraid to go out. This might start a cycle that's difficult to break out of. Sometimes stepping away from things like social media and the news can be a good way to look after yourself.

Anxiety is a mental health problem that affects lots of different areas of your life. If you feel anxious a lot of the time, especially about day-to-day things that others seem to cope with, you might want to talk to someone. Your GP is a good place to start, or another adult you trust.

If you want to talk to Childline about this, our counsellors are there for you and can listen.

I hope this has helped, thanks for your letter.

Take care.

Sam

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small.

Write me a letter