It can be a very frightening experience! You have just finished working late at night. You leave the office
and head to your car. The parking lot looks abandoned as your eyes slowly adjust to the dimness of the lights. You feel it!
The hair on your neck stands on end, and the adrenaline causes your heart to rise in your chest. Your palms sweat as you fumble with your keys. You think to yourself, “Quick! Get in the car, lock the doors!” You are too scared to even look behind you and see if the stranger is there. You safely enter your car and feel your nerves begin to settle as you pull out of the moonlit parking lot and onto your destination.
Is this a case of unwarranted fear? Not in today’s society it isn’t. Violent crimes against women are at staggering statistics. So what can you do to ensure that next time, if you don’t reach your car before being approached by a stranger, you will be fully equipped to protect yourself?
Here are some basic tips to keep in mind when thinking about your safety.
1. Be aware of your surroundings. Too often women are preoccupied and not being observant, this can lead to trouble.
2. Remember to keep your body language strong. Avoid looking like a victim or an easy target.
3. When you are out and about town, never wear flashy jewelry.
4. Never ever hitchhike!
5. Trust your instincts, if you feel danger approaching, get out of the situation as fast as possible.
6. If you feel someone is following you, turn and look them straight in the eye. This gives the impression that you aren’t fearful and will help you have a description of who they are.
7. If grabbed by a stranger, remember the four most sensitive areas on a man’s body are the eyes, knees, groin, and throat. On a woman, there are three: eyes, throat, and knees. Women
8. Don’t yell police, people don’t respond to cries for help. Instead, be specific, call out to a passerby, “Hey you, call 911 immediately!” This is more effective then yelling, “Help, police!”
9. Have a plan of attack ready in your mind. Practice how you will defend yourself and then if the situation arises, you won’t be mentally unprepared for what you may have to do to defend yourself.
10. Anything is a weapon in times of self-defense. Search your surrounding environment, if you are attacked there are no holds barred, your very life will depend on your ingenuity for your survival. In a parking lot, objects such as bottles, rocks, stones, even sticks can become weapons.
Items in your purse can be handy as well, metal nail files can serve as a weapon, hairspray can double as mace; your cell phone can be used to hit an attacker after dialing 911. The more you prepare and plan and keep in mind the sensitive areas of the human body, you will realize that you don’t have to get a gun to be safe. Any object applied to the attacker’s eyes, throat, groin, or knees will be sufficient to give you time to escape and get to safety. Just remember the importance of planning and thinking these strategies ahead of time. You don’t want to be overtaken by fear and panic and not use the weapons which you have readily available to you.
You can see that with a little preparation, common sense, and quick thinking you can effectively defend yourself if attacked. You may also want to take a self-defense class to further your safety and protection.