W.I.S.E. Women, LLC is a firm believer that your #1 self-defense weapon is safety awareness in potentially dangerous surroundings. As mentioned in our previous article, 5 Stages of a Violent Crime, attacks are not purely random. An attacker is looking for a victim who will be an easy target. Here are some things that you can do, so that you are not an easy target.
1)Carry yourself with confidence. Walk with your head up, shoulders back and with a purpose. Attackers are looking for mousy people who walk with their heads down and their minds somewhere else, not paying attention to their surroundings. When you carry yourself with confidence, you are sending a non-verbal message to a possible attacker that you will not be an easy target.
2)Be aware of your personal space. If someone asks you for the time or for directions, do not let them get close to you where they could grab you or attack you.
3)Always have your keys ready. If you are walking to your car, always have your keys in your hands and ready to use. This will avoid fumbling through your purse and being temporarily distracted from your surroundings when you reach your car.
4)Pay attention to the car beside yours. As you approach your vehicle, pay attention to the car parked next to your driver’s side door. If someone is sitting in the passenger seat of that vehicle, be cautious as you approach your car and have an escape plan in mind. By hiding in the passenger seat of the vehicle next to yours, it is very easy for an attacker to jump out and grab you as you are trying to get into your car.
5) Never, ever go with an attacker. Never! Even if you are being threatened with a weapon, you should always do everything in your power to not leave the scene of the attack with your attacker. Statistics overwhelmingly show that you are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured if you go with the predator. (Even if he promises not to hurt you.)
6)Leave once you get in your car. Many women sit in their car, fixing make-up, checking messages or making errand lists. This makes you a sitting target and you should always leave immediately after you get in your vehicle.
7)Yell FIRE if you are attacked. Sad but true, it has been shown that people are leary of getting involved in situations where someone yells for help ,for fear of putting themselves in serious danger or a violent situation. These days, who knows who might be carrying a gun or a knife? It has been proven that if you yell FIRE, people are much more likely to come to your assistance and dial 911 because they feel an obligation to their community and their safety is not threatened.
8)Never stop to take a survey. If you are leaving a store, do not stop if someone asks you to take a survey in the parking lot. This seemingly innocent approach preys on many women’s need to ‘be nice’, not wanting to say ‘no’ or appear cold. It is this exact play on women’s emotions that is used to draw them in to an interaction that allows the predator close enough in proximity to commit a crime on his victim.
9)Have your self defense weapon ready. It goes without saying, but you would be surprised how many women carry pepper spray or a stun gun….in their purse and don't have it in their hands when it is really needed. Whether it is a kubatan on your key ring, a stun gun or pepper spray, you should always have it in your hands as you walk in a parking lot or potentially dangerous area.You will not have time to retrieve your self defense weapon from your purse if you are faced with a violent crime situation.
10)Be aware of your surroundings at the ATM. Most attacks at an ATM drive-thru come from the blind spot behind the driver’s side of the vehicle. Check your blind spot. Look over your left shoulder before rolling down your window. Stay aware of that area while you are completing your transaction, and then roll up your window and leave as soon as your transaction is complete. You can put your money and receipt in your purse, after you have left the ATM drive-thru.
In the upcoming weeks, we will be posting many more safety awareness tips so please check back often and email us with any questions you may have. We'd love to hear from you!