10 Vital Safety Tips For Women. Now more than ever women in South Africa feel frightened and intimidated at home, at work, at school and basically everywhere. They are also wondering what to do should they be attacked. They are worried about becoming yet another femicide statistic. The following tips can help women to at least minimize the chances of being attacked.
1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Make it a habit to know what’s going on around you. When you walk into a room, look to your left and right to see who is lingering at the door, find your exits, look to see who is there. When you walk out of a door, immediately look to your left and right to see if anyone is lingering, look behind you often to make sure someone’s not following you. You don’t have to be paranoid..you just need to be aware.
2. Get Off Your Phone
Having a phone to call for help is a must in our day and age. But don’t let unnecessary chats distract you. That call/text can wait until you are in your car safely with the doors locked. Not only are you able to be aware of your surroundings by any human threat, but you can pay attention to the traffic around you and not get run over. If you’ve got the kids in tow as well, you aren’t giving them your undivided attention in a potentially dangerous situation.
3. Be Prepared When You Travel
Violent crimes against women happen in the best and worst hotels around the world. Predators may play the part of a hotel employee, push their way through an open or unlocked door, or obtain a pass key to the room. As with home safety, never open your door unless you are certain the person on the other side is legitimate, and always carry a door wedge with you when you travel. A wedge is often stronger than the door it secures.
4. Lock the Door Behind You
Make it an absolute rule of thumb that when you get into your car, lock the door immediately (if nothing else, just use the remote you’ve already got in your hand to lock up, too). When you come in from outside, lock the door immediately. When you go into a bathroom stall – lock first THEN find a place to put your bag. Too often bad guys don’t get you when you’re going into the building or car but will wait until you think you’re safe and relax your guard, and then open that door and you’re stuck.
5. Speak Up
Do not be afraid to speak to someone to ask them to not come closer if approaching you in a parking lot. Do not be afraid to yell for help if they don’t stop. Do not be afraid to speak loudly to someone so that you can get the attention of others nearby. Do not be afraid to let your wishes be known that you do not want to be harmed. Might you be embarrassed if it turns out that you misunderstood the situation?
6. Park Safely
When parking, choose spots that are well-lit, amongst other cars, and as close to the main entrances of a building as you can so that you spend less time in the car park as possible. Lock your car quickly, but keep your keys handy in case you have to get back in. Be aware of someone loitering near your car. Do not approach them though, and always check in and around your car before entering. When loading your trunk, do so as quickly as you can and always keep aware on your surroundings of someone approaching.
7. Trust Your Instincts
Trust your gut. If you feel something weird about a situation, get out of it. If you have a sense of dread about walking into a dark area, rather stay at home or use an alternative route. If a person is giving you cause to be concerned, excuse yourself from the conversation or cross the street to get away from them. This is not paranoia, It is that instinct that we tend to push aside.
8. Take Self-Defense Training
Sometimes you will need to fight of perpetrators. You can prepare yourself for the unknown by taking up self defense classes. It is important to evaluate the goals and practical usefulness of a women’s self-defense program before signing up. Many women’s self-defense programs teach watered-down martial arts techniques that are complex and unrealistic under the stress of an actual attack. The self-defense program should include simulated assaults, with a fully padded instructor in realistic rape and attack scenarios, to allow you to practice what you’ve learned.
9. Escape Is Always Your Best Option
If the unthinkable happens you must never leave the primary crime scene with the predator. You are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured if you go with the predator than if you run away, even if he promises not to hurt you. Run away, yell for help, throw a rock through a store or car window. Do whatever you can to attract attention. And if the criminal is after your purse or other material items, throw them one way while you run the other.
10. Don’t Make Yourself a Target
Wearing flashy jewelry (you have something valuable to steal), wearing restrictive clothing (unable to run or defend yourself), carrying more than you can manage, not paying attention to what’s going on around you, leaving valuables in plain sight, leaving your garage open, flashing money (best not to show everything in your wallet when trying to pay) are all ways to make yourself a target.