Have you ever felt threatened or vulnerable whilst out and about at nighttime? If you are like most women, you have a busy social schedule with trips to the theatre, restaurants and parties that mean you have to travel in the evening and at night. Sadly, many women feel vulnerable even in lit spaces such as car parks when they go out alone. Here are the top six personal safety tips for women that should enhance your confidence.
#1. Let People Know Where You Are Going
Unfortunately, attacks against women do happen and a common trait amongst attackers is to prey upon people who seem unaware of their surroundings. Always let someone know where you plan to go, such as a friend or family member. This strategy works because quite often people will suggest travel plans or even offer to come with you. Just letting someone know where you plan to go will help you feel safer and make you appear more assertive, thus averting unwanted attention.
#2. Embrace The Power Of Running
Its not glamorous or sexy, but running away is the best form of defense even when faced with an attacker wielding a knife or a gun. Even a skilled marksman has trouble shooting a running target with a pistol. Many attackers target people who seem lost or unsure of their environment and take advantage of the element of surprise. When you go out, always wear comfortable shoes that permit running and have a game plan in your mind that you will run if anything happens.
#3. Drop The Good Samaritan Act When Travelling Alone
A common way that criminals find victims is to act as victims themselves. They often ask for help or try and engage the victim under false pretences. When travelling alone, either driving or walking, drop the ‘Good Samaritan’ act and keep your guard up at all times. For instance, if someone approaches your car, keep the doors locks and communicate through the window instead of getting out and opening yourself up to attack or being robbed.
#4. Don’t Rely On Safety Devices
Depending on where you live, a whole range of safety devices may be legally available to you such as rape alarms, pepper sprays or even stun guns. You should never rely on these devices and bear in mind that running away is always your best line of defense. If you do carry a safety device, be certain that you know how to use it. Pepper spray isn’t effective on everyone and stun guns can be snatched away and used against you. Operate and test your device frequently and be sure that you understand how it works.
#5. Choose A Self-Defense Program That Includes Simulated Assaults
Self-defense classes get a bad rap as many of them teach watered down versions of martial arts moves. It simply isn’t practical or feasible for women to carry out these moves when faced with a real-life confrontation. Being attacked in real life is scary and nothing can prepare you for it as it takes you by surprise. Adrenalin kicks in and takes over. Even trained police officers find that their perception is altered during dangerous encounters. Like it or not, running away is still the best line of defense. If you do choose a self defense class, do your homework. Effective classes use a fully padded instructor who will simulate realistic rape and attack scenarios. The instructor will wear a helmet, padding and gloves so that participants can practice the moves they have learnt. These type of classes go some way towards preparing women for the realities of being attacked.
#6. Don’t Draw Attention To Yourself
If you carry yourself positively and walk purposefully, you are less likely to be attacked. Many women draw attention to themselves and almost act out the part of a victim through the way that they act. For example, walking along the sidewalk focusing on your smartphone’s screen makes it impossible to keep your guard up. Self defense classes can help you in terms of how you present yourself when out and about.
Hopefully, these six safety tips have given you some idea of the approaches you can take to be safer whilst out and about. Not every situation is the same and many women find that a combination of approaches works best for them. The key to staying safe is remaining aware of your environment and acting confident so as not to mark yourself out as the victim. Taking on board some of the ideas in this article should make you feel safer whilst out at nighttime. Always try to plan ahead and incorporate as many of these tips as possible into your daily routine. This can included letting people know where you are going and keeping your guard up at all times.
Have you tried a self-defense class? What was your experience? Let us know the benefits and drawbacks you encountered and leave us a comment below!