It’s a terrible but true fact: Women face greater danger in everyday life simply because of their gender. Mundane acts such as walking home at night and visiting a bar can quickly escalate into life-threatening situations without warning. Since attacks are unprompted they can’t always be avoided, but easy methods can reduce the risk of dangerous situations. Consider the following tips and tricks for escaping potentially risky settings and protecting against possible perpetrators.
Personal Security While Alone in Public
- Walking to a car at night: Some public locations such as universities and shopping malls have special security guards tasked with escorting patrons to their vehicles after dark.
- Car trouble or a minor accident: If situated in a remote area, stay in the car and call for help or agree to drive to the nearest well-lit gas station. Stay vigilant as even a female could be working with a predator. Speak through a slightly open window and text a friend with updates.
- Trust your instincts: Never fear acting silly or irrational. If a situation feels wrong, it’s best to swiftly exit.
Everyday items that Double as Defensive Tools
- Keys: When walking alone, cupping a set of keys in your palm with each piece poking through a knuckle is a makeshift deterrent.
- Magazine: If rolled into a tube, a publication has a surprisingly strong level of force when thrust into an opponent.
- Coffee: Once splashed onto a perpetrator, the blast of hot liquid can provide a distraction and allow a woman to escape.
Safety Myths and Misconceptions
- Don’t get into a car: A former police officer advises that if a gun-wielding stranger tries to lure you into a vehicle, it’s best not to comply. Their goal is to take you to a second location rather than fire their weapon in a public place. The criminal will most likely speed away once their potential-victim flees.
- Stay off the phone: Some sources recommend that talking on a mobile may fool an attacker into thinking police are on the line. More than likely, chatting is a distraction and may divert attention away from monitoring the surrounding area. A smart phone can be used to quickly dial 911 on a speed dial if needed. Most devices are equipped with one-touch emergency dialing.
- Stranger danger: While it’s natural to be more suspicious of an unknown person, many victims are assaulted by the person closest to them: partners, relatives and friends. Don’t ignore disturbing behavior from those around you.
Helpful Tips you may not Know
- Safety buddy: Have a friend know your itinerary and arrange calls upon arrival at each destination.
- Taxi security: Take a picture of the license plate before entering a cab and let a friend know where you are.
- Bathing suit: It may be unconventional but consider wearing a thin one-piece underneath your outfits when in large crowds like a protest or concert. It’s a layer of protection if you’re worried about any strangers grabbing you.