First, I would like to thank reader, Yahshiva Williams for reaching out and suggesting I share a list of tips with all of you on how to protect ourselves from those who wish to do us physical harm. Considering the day and age we live in, certain precautions are necessary, and we as women need to equip ourselves with any advantages that will increase our safety and well-being. Along with Yahshiva’s info, I was inspired to include more info on this topic from Power to Change, ABC news and Women Travel Tips. Please take the time to read the statistics and every single one of the tips listed below, they may not only save your life but your loved ones as well.
Tip from Tae Kwon Do
The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!
Learned this from a tourist guide… If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you…. Chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!
If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car… kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy…The driver won’t see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives…
Women have a tendency to get into their cars… after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON’T DO THIS!) The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR , LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE…If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF, Repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.
A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:
A) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor , and in the back seat.
B) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.
C) Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side.. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.
IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)
ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!)
If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, preferably in a zig -zag pattern!
As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP, it may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well-educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked ’for help’ into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.
Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird…the police told her ‘Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door… The lady then said “that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window”, and she was worried that it would “crawl to the street and get run over.” The policeman said, ’We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.’ He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby’s cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby.. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby’s cries outside their doors when they’re home alone at night.
Water Scam! If you wake up in the middle of the night to hear all your taps outside running or what you think is a burst pipe, DO NOT GO OUT TO INVESTIGATE! These people turn on all your outside taps full blast so that you will go out to investigate and then attack.
Stay alert, keep safe, and look out for your neighbors!
Avoiding a car-jacking, Lock all doors and keep windows up when driving. Most car-jackings take place when vehicles are stopped at intersections. The criminals approach at a 45-degree angle (in the blind spot), and either pull you out of the driver’s seat or jump in the passenger’s seat.
5. Your right to fight. Unfortunately, no matter how diligently we practice awareness and avoidance techniques, we may find ourselves in a physical confrontation. Whether or not you have self-defense training, and no matter what your age or physical condition, it is important to understand that you CAN and SHOULD defend yourself physically. You have both the moral and legal right to do so, even if the attacker is only threatening you and hasn’t struck first. Many women worry that they will anger the attacker and get hurt worse if they defend themselves, but statistics clearly show that your odds of survival are far greater if you do fight back. Aim for the eyes first, and the groin second, remember, though, to use the element of surprise to your advantage–strike quickly, and mean business. You may only get one chance.
Safety in Cyberspace. Although the Internet is educational and entertaining, it can also be full of danger if one isn’t careful. When communicating on-line, use a nickname and always keep personal information such as home address and phone number confidential. Instruct family members to do the same. Keep current on security issues, frauds, viruses, etc.
Pepper spray: Pros and cons. Pepper spray, like other self-defense aids, can be a useful tool. However, it is important to understand that there can be significant drawbacks to its use. For example, did you know that it doesn’t work on everyone? Surprisingly, 15-20% of people will not be incapacitated even by a full-face spray. Also, if you’re carrying it in your purse, you will only waste time and alert the attacker to your intentions, while you fumble for it. Never depend on any self-defense tool or weapon to stop an attacker. Trust your body and your wits, which you can always depend on in the event of an attack.
Use your sixth sense. “Sixth-Sense.” “Gut instinct.” Whatever you call it, your intuition is a powerful subconscious insight into situations and people. All of us, especially women, have this gift, but very few of us pay attention to it. Learn to trust this power and use it to your full advantage. Avoid a person or a situation which does not “feel” safe–you’re probably right.
Awareness: Your first line of defense. Most people think of kicks to the groin and blocking punches when they hear the term “self-defense.” However, true self-defense begins long before any actual physical contact. The first, and probably most important, component in self-defense is awareness: awareness of yourself, your surroundings, and your potential attacker’s likely strategies.
The criminal’s primary strategy is to use the advantage of surprise. Studies have shown that criminals are adept at choosing targets who appear to be unaware of what is going on around them. By being aware of your surroundings and by projecting a “force presence,” many altercations which are commonplace on the street can be avoided.
Escape: Always your best option. What if the unthinkable happens? You are suddenly confronted by a predator who demands that you go with him–be it in a car, or into an alley, or a building. It would seem prudent to obey, but you must never leave the primary crime scene. 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.
Home invasions: A crime on the rise. The primary way to prevent a home invasion is simply to never, ever open your door unless you either are certain you know who’s on the other side or can verify that they have a legitimate reason for being there (dressing up as a repair person or even police officer is one trick criminals use). In the event that an intruder breaks in while you’re home, you should have a safe room in your house to which you can retreat. Such a room should be equipped with a strong door, deadbolt lock, phone (preferably cell phone), and a can of pepper spray or fire extinguisher.
Dress to Kill: Clogs, high heels, and tight skirts are hard to run and fight in, while scarves and long necklaces are easy to grab. If possible, modify your fashion style or wear comfortable clothing when walking alone. You can always change into dress-up clothes later. Or, think through how you would fight in your dress-up clothes. Would you kick off your high heels or hike your skirt up around your hips to run or kick?
Make Eye Contact: It may be your first instinct to lower your gaze as you walk to your destination. But looking straight into the face of potential enemies is the better option. “Eye contact may scare off attackers because they fear you will be able to identify them,” says Mary Ellen Burns, a spokesperson for the Boston Police Department.
Change It Up: Regularly change your walking routine, plan out a few different routes that you can take and mark out “safe houses” in your mind at intervals along the way. In the event of attacks, you can stop at these shops or homes where you know you will be safe. Try to incorporate these houses every time you vary your route
Statistics from Women Travel Tips
- The #1 thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.
- They also look for women on their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.
- The time of day men are most likely to attack and rape a woman is in the early morning, between 5 and 8:30 a.m.
The number one place women are abducted from/attacked at is grocery store parking lots. Number two is office parking lots/garages and number three is public restrooms. These men are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to a second, secluded location where they don’t have to worry about getting caught.
- Only 2% of the rapists interviewed said they carried weapons because rape carries a 3-5 year sentence but rape with a weapon is 15-20 years.Therefore, if you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn’t worth it because it will be time-consuming. These men said they will not pick on women who have umbrellas, or other similar objects in their hands that can be used from a distance. Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you’re not worth it.
Visit womentraveltips.com for several helpful defense mechanisms.
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