Why Safety Tips For Women? I promise to get back to posting motherhood stuff, but I highly consider staying alive a big part of motherhood! 🙂 If you didn’t read my last post on this topic, I will just forewarn you that I think about these things way too much. Just the other day I was in the shower and heard a strange noise. My first thought was “Oh shoot. I’m going to have to fight this guy naked?!” And then my mind played out all the possible scenarios: How I was going to save my napping toddler who was upstairs, whether or not I would have time to put clothes on before running to a neighbor for help, how embarrassed I could feel running to a neighbor naked, what object I was going to use to try to knock him in the head, etc. Ten minutes later I began laughing at the fact that the noise was no longer, and yet I was still thinking up different scenarios.
Paranoid or not, it’s good to think about different situations and have a safety plan.
Here are some safety tips for women that I have learned over the years:
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SAFETY TIPS FOR WOMEN:
1. Be confident and put up a fight. Walk with your head up and be aware of your surroundings. Predators look for weak targets. If you are attacked, put up a fight (but beware if he has a weapon) and most importantly: MAKE NOISE! I have read stories on the news of women scaring off their attackers because they fought or made too much noise.
2. Don’t go into poorly lit areas, and never run alone at night. I regret the times that I went running at night as a college student just because I was too stubborn to ask someone to run with me. Especially since there were many girls going to my same University that ended up getting raped or killed. This doesn’t mean running during the daylight is safe either. If you run in the day, run in public areas where lots of people can see you. At my particular University, there were also many women that got raped during the daytime because they went running on trails, or walked home from campus on a path surrounded by trees.
3. Make sure someone knows where you are. There have been times when I ran an errand at night or ended up in what could have been a sticky situation and have had the thought, “Would my husband/parent/friend know my location if I went missing?”
4. If you’re going to make noise, it doesn’t hurt to call out a name. I decided once that if a man ever tried to force his way into my house, I would call out for my husband–even if he wasn’t there. This is in hopes that the intruder will think I am not alone. This is a good idea for public places too. Maybe you can fool your attacker into thinking your boyfriend is right around the corner. This leads me to tip #5.
5. Never make it obvious that you are alone: in public, at home, on Facebook or on the phone. Just don’t do it. There are too many instances of rape that resulted from an “innocent” Facebook status update.
6. It is wise to carry something to defend yourself with, but make sure you are confident in using it. Carrying a stun gun, taser or mace can be a good idea, but they can also be used against you if you are not confident enough to use it. Be careful.
7. If you are being robbed, give it up. Okay, I have heard stories of women successfully beating off their attackers…but when it comes to money or possessions, choose your life first–especially if they have a weapon. I was told in high school that if someone ever tries to rob me that I should throw my purse and run in the opposite direction. Chances are they will pursue your purse first, leaving you time to get away.
8. Don’t let yourself be moved from locations. This one was taught to me in high school. If you get in your intruders car, your chances of survival are far less. Fight like your life depends on it, because too often it does. I was told this advice applies even if they hold a gun to your head. SCREAM! You don’t want to let them kidnap you!
9. If an attacker forces you to drive somewhere, your chances of survival are far higher if you don’t let yourself get to that destination. Crash the car into a tree or pole or something that will not harm someone else.
10. This one has been floating around Pinterest lately. Carry your keys with your finger on the alarm button. If you are anywhere near your car it will likely scare off your intruder. This also applies to burglaries at home. Let your neighbors know that if your car alarm goes off and you don’t turn it off within a certain amount of time, then you are in danger.
11. It may seem like the furthest thing from your mind, but always try to memorize your attacker’s features. You want to be able to describe what he looks like to police. This is something I need to be extra conscious of because I don’t feel like I’m very observant in that respect. Also, if you are raped do not shower or change clothes or you might be destroying evidence.
12. I didn’t used to be good at this one, but I have become more cautious lately. Lock the doors to your house even if you are only leaving for a few minutes. Don’t leave your car running at night to run into a house or store. Lock your car doors.
13. Be cautious when answering your door at home, Always check to see who it is first. I actually had an experience with this just this morning. I heard a knock at the door and could tell through the foggy window next to the door that it was a man. I decided not to answer it. Seconds later the door handle started to jiggle. I instantly grabbed my phone and ran to an upstairs window to get a better look. It was my neighbor and he was wrapping a tool around the door knob that my husband had asked to borrow. I laughed at myself and opened to the door for him, but I was still glad that I had been cautious.
14. If the person at the door is someone you do not know, ignore it or talk to them through a window first. Yes, it may seem silly to talk to someone through a window before answering the door, but if it save your life it’s worth it.
15. Never take a drink of something if you didn’t see exactly where it came from. I have read two stories on the news lately of women being offered what they thought was water, and waking up the next day in the parking lot of a gas station.
16. Teach your children to find a store employee if they ever get lost. I found a lost kid at a museum once who was just huddled in a corner crying. It was very obvious to everyone that passed by that he was lost. I grabbed him and took him to an employee as fast as I could, hoping the parents didn’t spot me with their kid in my arms and think I was taking off with their kid. Anyone could have grabbed him, pretended to be helping. Teach your kids to go straight to an employee and avoid this risk.
17. Keep your doors locked while driving. You don’t want someone hopping into your car while you are stopped at a light.
18. Be SAFE if you are buying/selling online! I love to use the online classifieds and I have acquired some great deals doing so, but I’ve also learned a few things in the process. Meet in a public place. I used to just tell people to come and pick them up from my house. This is not the smartest idea, but if you are going to do it, make sure you are not home alone. I once listed a sewing machine online and had a guy call that was very interested. After a few conversations about the machine, he called me and started asking some personal questions. He knew I was married, but he still said things like, “It seems from your voice that you are a very attractive girl, what do you look like?” CREEPY! It became obvious that he was more interested in hooking up than he was in buying the sewing machine and I was very glad I had not given him my address yet. Once I told him I would not be selling to him he became very belligerent and harassing and I know I would not have slept for weeks if he had my address.
19. If you are buying or selling online, try to talk in person rather than text the whole time so that you have an idea what kind of person you are talking to. Once I texted a lady about buying some toys for my toddler. She gave me her address to come pick up the items, and then proceeded to tell me that she would be gone for the next few hours but her teenage daughter would be home to help me. I was SHOCKED! She hadn’t even heard my voice, for all she knew I could have been a creepy man. How scary to tell a complete stranger where you live, and that your teenage daughter is home alone! Don’t do this!
20. If you are buying a big-ticket item, arrange to see it before you agree to buy. I have also read stories where someone will agree to buy a car with cash, and then end up getting robbed at gunpoint when they arrive. If the seller knows you will not be arriving with cash the first time you look at the item, you could avoid this scenario.
A great place to get more safety tips for women for all types of situations, is womenonguard.com. They have a plethora of tips for every situation imaginable! Here are just a few that I remember from their website:
21. If you feel you are being followed, drive to a public place. Do not drive home or they will know where you live.
22. Pay with card when you can and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
23. Be aware of your surroundings when you are in public places. If someone “bumps” into you, make sure you did not just get pickpocketed. When my brother-law-was in Israel, he was approached by a kid “selling” postcards. While one kid flashed the postcards in his face, another was right there to snatch his camera! It was sneaky and well thought out.
24. Always trust your feelings. If something feels wrong, there’s a good chance something is.
25. Play the “What if” game with your children, addressing a variety of situations and what they should do in those particular situations.
26. Teach your children about their bodies and not ever letting anyone touch them. Teach them what to do and who to talk to if this happens. To many children keep sexual abuse a secret for years because they are too ashamed to tell an adult.
27. If you must fight back your attacker, “adopt what police term the ‘bash and dash’ approach. Primary targets are the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, throat, groin, knees or shins; choose whichever is easiest to get to.”
28. Don’t wear shoes or clothing that will end up restricting your movement. Those 10-inch heels may appear sexy to you, but they won’t help you run any faster in a dangerous situation.
29. Always be observant when approaching an ATM. If it is a dark area or there are bushes, or someone is lingering around the area–find another ATM. Always have your card ready, keep your doors locked and make your transaction as quickly as possible. Make it a habit to go to ATM’s when it is light outside.
30. Keep your car in good condition to avoid car problems as much as possible. You don’t want to run out of gas in a dark alley!
Are you aware of some safety tips that I have missed? Please share and I will add them to the list!