Would you pass a safety test? As a woman, do you feel safe while traveling, going to the supermarket, getting in and out of your car, or even sitting at home watching TV? Do you live your life in a safe mode or do you believe that nothing untoward will ever happen to you? It behooves us all, women and men alike, to develop our own personal safety plan.
I like to live my life by following what I call the Three A’s…be Alert, be Aware and Always be at the ready. The following tips are mostly common sense but always bear repeating. We can no longer enjoy the luxury of safety. We must take the initiative and look out for ourselves.
Staying alert to our surroundings, to everyone in our immediate environs, is of utmost importance. Too often we walk by people with our head down, totally ignoring who is coming our way or walking past us. This is a mistake and could lead to a fatal mistake. Pretend you’re a law enforcement officer. What do they do when they’re out in public? They are alert. They look people in the eye, noticing their movements, their facial expressions, making a mental note of their facial characteristics, how they’re dressed. The majority of the time this may turn out to be an exercise in futility but we never know when this information that we’ve assimilated may come in handy. We never set out for the day thinking that we might be a victim of a crime or a witness to a crime.
Here are some tips to Always keep in mind:
· If your big concern is rape, remember that most rapists (according to the rapists themselves) look for women with hairstyles that make it easy to grab them – a long ponytail or braid or any hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. Rapists like women with long hair. I’m not advising that women cut their hair off, but just be aware of your hairstyle as you go about your daily activities.
· Keep your cell phone easily Accessible so you don’t have to search through your purse looking for it, thereby being distracted from your surroundings.
· Be especially Alert in parking lots, even at your neighborhood grocery store. Public restrooms are other places where we’re particularly vulnerable.
· If you’re confronted by someone you feel is suspicious, talk to them, ask them a question, look them earnestly in the face, studying their looks. This will let any potential rapist know that you could identify them in a police lineup.
· If you feel that someone is approaching you in a threatening manner, hold your hands out in front of you and yell “Stop.” Let them know you will not be an easy target. Rapists don’t want anyone who is going to be a problem.
· Always carry pepper spray with you and make sure it is handy at all times. You don’t want to be searching through your …