The fear that women feel every day is very real. After all, the WHO estimates that 1 in 3 women will experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. Therefore, it is necessary to learn how to keep yourself safe so that you don’t find yourself in situations like this.
Of course, growing up, many women have learned numerous safety techniques and many of these are used on a daily basis. However, to really ensure your wellbeing, you need to be aware of some important tactics. Here is what they are:
Have Greater Situational Awareness
There is no denying that constantly looking over your shoulder can seem rather paranoid. However, it is also one of the best defensive tools that you have at your disposal.
There is no denying that constantly looking over your shoulder can seem rather paranoid. However, it is also one of the best defensive tools that you have at your disposal. The more aware that you are, the more difficult it becomes for attackers to take you by surprise.
So, how can you practice situational awareness? Well, when you are walking by yourself, it is important not to be distracted by anything. This means that you shouldn’t be listening to music or be on your phone. When your mind is preoccupied with other tasks, it makes it more difficult to take in your surroundings.
You should also make it a point to look around as much as possible. Thus, try to glance over your shoulder a few times when walking alone. You can also use reflective surfaces to see what is going on behind you without needing to turn around.
Practice Proper Car Safety
There are also several car safety practices you should know about. To start with, always think about the spot you are parking in. Whenever possible, try to park near a building that has lots of people coming and going. If you are parking at night, make sure to do so in a well-lit area, close to where you need to get to.
Before getting in your car, always check inside first. It’s important to get into the habit of doing this, regardless of how long you have been away from your vehicle. Once you are in the vehicle, it is carjacking that you need to be concerned with. One of the best ways to avoid this is to lock all your car doors the moment you are inside.
It is also important not to fall for some common tricks. For instance, if you see money on your windshield, don’t get out of your vehicle to pick it up. Or, if you are driving along and someone points out something wrong with your car, don’t pull over right there. Instead, head to a more crowded destination and examine what might be wrong.
Be More Conscious of the People in Your Life
As a woman, you really can’t afford to take chances with your safety or your life. This is why you shouldn’t trust people straight off the bat. This includes employers, colleagues, neighbors, new friends, and even potential partners.
After all, according to the WHO, much of the violence directed towards women was from men they knew. Fortunately, there is a way to reduce this risk a little. If you are going to be around someone for a while (neighbor, boyfriend, colleague, etc.) make it a point to run a background check and perhaps even look up mugshots. Thanks to sites such as CheckPeople, this is a lot easier for the average person to do.
This will give you an idea of whether these individuals have any prior charges of violence against women. If they have, you should be more careful around them and take the necessary steps to avoid them. It is also a good idea to let other friends or family members know about their backgrounds as well.
Limit the Number of People Who Have Access to Your Home
You are supposed to feel safe in your own home. However, this is provided that unsavory people don’t have access to your residence. Whether you realize it or not, you may be giving people plenty of clues as to where you live.
For instance, you may need to provide your address for various services. If this is the case, try to whisper it to the intended person. This way, people around you will not be able to hear what you are saying. Furthermore, unless it is absolutely necessary, don’t provide your address.
When handing in your car keys to the auto shop or valet, make it a point to always remove your house keys first. This way, people won’t have the opportunity to make a copy while the keys are out of your sight. Rather than keeping a spare key outside, leave it with a family member or trusted friend instead. Sure, this may be more frustrating to retrieve but at least it won’t fall into the wrong hands.
Be Careful on Social Media
What might look like a fun and harmful photo to you could actually provide a predator with a great deal of information about you and your whereabouts. If you are someone who puts up images of yourself several times a day, you should be looking at your posts more carefully.
For instance, are any pictures you put up giving clues to your address or the neighborhood that you live in? Keep in mind, with Google Images reverse search features, it isn’t too difficult for someone to track you down with a simple photo.
If you post a lot of pictures of food, you should check whether the restaurant or the location is mentioned as well. Whenever possible, omit these details, particularly if you frequent the place on a regular basis.
Last but not least, always be careful about who you befriend online. Just because someone shows up as a “Friend” doesn’t mean that they really are. So, if this does happen, ask your friends if they actually know who the person is.
While the world can be a dangerous place for women, there is also a lot you can do to protect yourself. So, make sure to keep these points in mind, wherever you are. They can go a long way in keeping you safe.