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 purse looking for this because the rapist isn’t going to stand idly by while you try to find it. Always have it at the ready. You can buy mace or pepper spray that you can attach to your key ring.
· If someone grabs you, immediately fight with all your might. If you can, try to gouge them in the eyeballs. As icky as this may sound, it is a good tactical maneuver. Nobody wants their eyes poked out! Remember that your elbow is a good weapon too. If you’re attacked and held from behind, use your elbow to slam it into the attacker. Always go for the groin too! Don’t worry about making the attacker angry. Kick as hard as you can. Slam your foot down on their instep too if possible. If you can grab the attacker’s fingers, bend them back as hard as you can. Whatever you do, don’t just give up and be meek. This is exactly what the rapist/attacker wants. He wants an easy, compliant victim.
· Always make sure you have plenty of gas in your car. You don’t want to run out of gas on a lonely road or on the freeway or anywhere, especially if you’re alone. If you do run out of gas, or break down, lock your doors and use your cell phone to call for help. Do not accept help from anyone who comes to your car offering help. Chances are they are a well-meaning good Samaritan but why take that chance?
· Always keep your car keys in your hand until you get to a place of safety. Keys may not be much of a weapon but they can be used to gouge someone’s eyes if you’re being attacked.
· If someone approaches you in a threatening manner demanding your wallet or purse, it is recommended that you throw the wallet or purse away from you. Usually this will cause the robber to turn his attention from you to retrieve your wallet or purse. Most of the time this is what he wants anyway. Don’t lament the loss of money or material things. They are not as important as your life.
· No matter where you are, walk with confidence. Your body language tells a rapist a lot about you and whether or not he should leave you alone or attack you. Feign confidence even if you’re scared to death.
· If you’re home alone, or even if there are others with you, do not feel compelled to open the door when the doorbell rings or you hear a knock on the door. This is your home and even if you know that visitors will know that you’re home, you don’t have to open the door to anybody. Always yell “Who is it?” and if it is not someone you recognize, don’t answer the door. Ask them what they want. If they say their car broke down and they need to use your phone, politely tell them that you will call 911 for them. And then do make that call.
· When traveling, keep only enough money for parking meters or small incidentals in your purse. Conceal all large bills and driver’s license and passports and anything of value in a money belt wrapped around your lower chest area. As long as you have some money on you, the robber will probably think that’s all you have and will not consider that you could have a money belt.
· If you see someone who appears to be in distress, be very careful about approaching them. Stay your distance and use your cell phone to call for help. A lot of women have been attacked by an unseen accomplice of a person who feigns distress.
Don’t be a victim. Sometimes no matter what we do, we may still fall victim to a predator but our chances of staying out of harm’s way are greatly increased if we live by the 3 A’s.
Source: The nonprofits.com