Tips and Advice
On this page we've collected some general tips on how to avoid dangerous situations outside your home. Generally, the best idea is to
use your common sense!
Unfortunately, that's not always enough. First we'll list some common sense tips on how to avoid violence in the first place. Actually, that's the
most effective way of self defense!
Remember, most of the violent situations (mainly domestic violence) starts after verbal quarrel. Always try to "cool down" the situation or try to get out of your home before it's too late.
- If you see or sense problems on your way, just change your route and - prepare to run or defend yourself.
- Do not wear conspicuous jewelry when you are walking on the streets alone.
- Do not hitchhike, use buses or taxis instead.
- Do not act or look like an easy target - look confident!
- Most "fights" are won before they start, and aggressors will back down if you maintain eye contact and are not intimidated by them.
- Remember, there is usually safety in numbers. Wait in a coffee shop or in a well-lit area for the public transport to arrive.
- Don't choose the window seat as you may be "blocked in" by a potential assailant; always choose an aisle seat for quick exit.
- After peak hours, always choose the train compartment carrying the most passengers or the compartment directly behind the train driver.
- On buses, sit behind the driver or next to the door for quick exit.
- Danger areas are stepping out of your car either at home or in isolated areas, and also walking to your car.
- Always approach your vehicle with the keys ready.
- Windows should be up and doors locked even when driving to avoid unwanted passengers at intersections. (Please note that this conflicts with quick entering and exit procedures in the event of an accident).
- Always check your car before entering.
- Never leave your car unlocked, even for the few minutes it may take you to return a video, buy milk and so forth. Attackers have been known to lie in wait for such an opportunity.
- Never get into a car even if someone is pointing a knife or a handgun at you from inside. Just start to run away from the car screaming at the same time. It's much more likely that he will drive away to find an easier target than attacking or killing you. But if you get into the car, he has a much better opportunity to drive to a quiet place and start to abuse you and later maybe kill you.
- Never pull your car over from a quiet road even if someone drives alongside your car pointing at the tires, etc. Always continue driving to a well-lit and crowded area before exiting your car. The problem might be a bluff and the driver wants you to stop at the side of the road to "help" you without a reason.
- Always be alert in parking lots, specially when it's dark. If you are afraid, don't be too shy to ask someone to escort you to your car. Between cars and inside cars, it's easy for someone to hide and wait until an unalert person comes along.
- Always check the identification of the driver (usually located near the visor) and ensure that it matches the driver.
- Be wary of cars with central locking.
- Don't sit behind the driver as it may be easy for the driver to lock the rear passenger door - always choose the adjacent seat.
- Always order taxis so that the driver can be traced.
- Avoid flagging taxis from the street.
Walkers / Joggers:
- If you have car trouble and are walking to look for help, always walk against the traffic so that you can see what is coming.
- If shadowed by a car, run back in the direction from which you came. If you continue in the same direction, you will make it easy for the shadowing to continue.
- Be wary of alert passengers.
- Don't use a "walkman" when walking in isolated areas at any time.
- Regularly change your routines.
- Mark out houses at intervals on each route you take that may be used as "safe houses" in the event of attack such as shops or houses that you know to be occupied by a friend or acquaintance.
Try to incorporate these houses every time you vary your route.
- Be alert at all times.
- Don't presume that because your area has been "safe" thus far, that it will continue to be so.
Public phone boxes:
- When you are calling from a telephone box, after dialing the numbers always turn around so that you have your
back to the phone and may see what is coming. You will then be able to tell the person to whom you are
speaking that you may be in trouble and you may be able to use the weight of the phone as a weapon. The door of a telephone box could be used to wedge in the
limbs of the attacker.
- Think about your clothing - where will it be worn? Will you be going out after work? Get into the habit of leaving restrictive clothing and shoes for those
occasions when you are certain that you have no reason to anticipate danger, such as large crowds, being picked up after work or going out and so forth.
- Choose a wardrobe which maximizes freedom of movement. The best self defense techniques will not help you if you cannot run away because of tight skirts
or shoes with straps and high heels. In these situations, it will be necessary to disable your attacker to ensure you are not followed unless you have some means of a
quick exit such as a motor vehicle. This places additional, unnecessary pressure on you to be successful. Further, if you focus too much attention on disabling you opponent, you may not be sufficiently aware of an additional threat to yourself.
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Reprinted with permission from Caroline Young, a survivor dedicated to helping women to avoid and survive domestic violence. Visit her website http://www.safetyforwomen.com to learn Safety and Self Defense Tricks for Women; Free Download. A great resource! Information presented for educational purposes only.