May - Personal Safety for Women
Safety Tips: Personal Safety for Women
In the past we would read or hear about ladies being abducted or attacked in home break-ins, in parking lots, or other public areas - all in the bigger cities. Now we hear about this happening in the same areas, but in small towns and even some rural areas. As much as we hate to admit it, it is happening and getting more prevalent.
I thought that discussing some safety tips regarding these issues might be beneficial to all of our female employees and maybe distributing copies in the various Extension areas would be beneficial to others as well.
AWARENESS: This is your first line of defense. Awareness doesn’t mean that you have to jump in and kick the assailant in the groin or make gains at blocking his swings or punches; but rather by observing the area that you are in, being aware of yourself, thinking about protection, and considering your assailant’s potential of what he might attempt to do. These types of criminals act on the element of surprise. If you are aware of your surroundings and his strategy, then you are better prepared in your self-defense.
USE YOUR SIXTH SENSE: A “sixth sense” or gut feeling is a subconscious feeling of a circumstance, not always in a potential criminal act. In other situations we tend to use that gut feeling for what may be the outcome of a situation. You should learn to use this feeling and trust it totally. If you end up in a situation that doesn’t feel right or safe, you’re probably right.
SELF-DEFENSE TRAINING: Before signing up for a ladies’ self-defense program, you should evaluate your goals and the practical usefulness of the program. The experts say that you should avoid full-blown martial arts schools because the process to become proficient is very slow and sometimes you get a lot of knowledge that won’t benefit you. The ideal situation is to look for a program that will simulate the tactics that an assailant might use and learn those for your protection, such as rape and/or attack situations.
ESCAPE: Obviously, this is the ultimate solution. Try to avoid letting the assailant take you toward an alley, his car, or other areas away from the actual crime scene or location of the altercation. If you let him get you away from the scene, you are far more likely to be harmed or killed (even if he tells you that he won’t harm you). Look for somewhere to run and scream for help or attention or throw rocks in areas to command attention. As an example, if he is trying to get your purse, throw it in one direction and you run away in the other.
RIGHT TO FIGHT: Even though you might have trained in criminal awareness and avoidance techniques, there is always the possibility of a confrontation. If this situation presents itself, you have the right morally and physically to defend yourself. Many ladies have the notion that if they try to defend themselves that this will anger the assailant more. But statistics have proven that your chance of survival is much greater if you do fight back. When you attempt to fight your assailant, go for his eyes first and the groin second. You also want to exercise the element of surprise to your advantage. Strike first, quickly, and with ambition (to yield damage). You may only get one chance.
PEPPER SPRAY: Spray has its advantages and disadvantages. First, the experts tell us that in 15-20% of the population a full spray in the face doesn’t stop them. Secondly, if the spray is in your purse, it will take a little time to get it out and this will “throw up a flag” to the assailant. In most cases, it is hard to depend on a self-defense tool or weapon for protection for the obvious reason. You really ought to depend on your body and your wits.
HOME INVASIONS: This type of crime is on the increase. The most effective way to stop a home invasion is never open the door, unless you are positive of who is on the other side. Sometimes assailants will dress in service or repair uniforms to try to take full advantage of the circumstances. It is a good idea to have a “designated” room in your home that has a deadbolt lock on the door, a phone (cell phone is better) and a can of pepper spray or even a fire extinguisher.
AVOID CAR-JACKING: Keep all doors locked and windows completely closed when driving or stopping at intersections. Most car-jackings occur at intersections where it is necessary to stop for traffic signals. They say that assailants will come at your vehicle at a 45-degree angle rather than directly from the side and try to pull you out of the driver’s side or get in with you on the passenger side.
A TRAVEL TIP: Violent crimes have occurred in the best and worst hotels in the country. Assailants may dress as a hotel employee and try to push or force their way through your room. Like home safety, never open the door unless you know that the outsider is legitimate. A good aid is to carry a door wedge with you in your purse. Sometimes the wedge can do more good than the lock.
INTERNET SAFETY: Take extreme care with addresses, phone numbers, etc. on the web and warn other family members of the same. The web can be educational and recreational and very criminal as well.
AT WORK & AT HOME LET SAFETY BE KNOWN -
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED GEAR UP FOR SAFETY!