The last Personal Safety Tip was about not looking like a victim. There is obviously much more to not looking like a victim than what I could fit into such a brief article. But don't worry - the following articles will add to your knowledge base and skills sets, enabling you to appear confident and strong - not like a victim!
I know that our everyday lives may sometime require us to do things that are contradictory to some of the personal safety advice that I have given and will give in future articles. We cannot stop living and hide in our homes because of the "possibilities" of danger. I am NOT trying to create a paranoia that paralyzes you from enjoying life! I AM trying to enhance your awareness; improve your ability to recognize and deal with real situations or potential situations in a manner that will maintain your level of personal safety. The suggestions I make are intended to help you, not stifle you! Some of the hints I give may seem like common sense to some readers, but for others these ideas may be brand new - I don't want to assume anyone has already considered each of my hints. I would rather give you a "duh, I knew that already" moment than risk not making someone better prepared. With all of that being stated, here are a few more ideas and hints to think about.
- Walk in well-lit and or well-traveled areas that you are familiar with. Lately, taking this precaution doesn't always keep someone safe. I hear more and more about attacks happening in broad daylight with crowds of people around. But, for most situations, light and crowds are the enemy of most assailants.
- Do not take a short-cut if it leads you through an obscure area that is hidden from public view or an area where it would be difficult hearing you if you had to call out for help.
- Do not follow a set routine for your walks. Whether you are going to work, school or the store or just out for a leisurely walk - do not follow the same route or routine every time you go out. look at it this way, if you do take the same router at the same time everyday, you will always see the same things! Boring!
- If you are going to start walking at different times via different routes, try to do your homework - find out as much as you can about the new routes. Try to find out the "who, what, where, why, when and how" of that area's activities, residents and routine visitors. This information (and its availability) may be different for a residential area versus a business district.
- When walking down a street (especially if you are in an obscure area), keep some distance between you and any doorways, alleyways, parked vehicles (especially vans) or any other area that could potentially be a hiding place for someone. Walk in the middle of the sidewalk, as long as you are not rudely forcing others to move out of your way (you know the "rule" -stay to your right!).
- If someone calls out to you from a vehicle, a building or any other area as you are walking, keep your distance from them and keep your head up and eyes open - being aware of anyone else who might be approaching. Keep your distance from the person who is calling for you. Even if they ask you to look at a map or something else with them, keep your distance!
These are just a few hints - either you read these and the information simply reinforced what you already know (congratulations) or you learned something new here - either way, it is a good thing. There will be many more self defense / personal safety hints coming!
Thanks for hanging in there with me! In the meantime - One Body, One Life, One Choice...Be Smart & Be Safe!