It seems like attacks and rapes on women have become a worldwide issue, which has recently been heavily covered by media and news. You can’t avoid seeing a new case of girls and women being beat, raped or killed. It’s sickening to read all of the cases that circulate throughout the web on what seems like a weekly basis, and very disturbing when little or nothing is done to punish the attacker(s). Perhaps this is an issue that has existed for centuries, but it seems that more girls and women are fighting back and reporting their attackers. I can’t even begin to imagine the fear and after-math that comes from an attack or worse, rape.
I compiled a list of helpful tips if you have ever felt as though you were being followed or watched. Check them out below and please add your own in the comments section.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Avoid walking around with earphones on, or deeply involved in a cell phone conversation. If you are on a walk alone, look around and make eye contact with people who pass you by. Don’t make yourself an easy target by walking looking down at your phone or talking on your phone without looking around. Being aware of your surroundings includes exits you can take or safe areas to run to in the case you are attacked.
- Parking lots are the most common places for women to get attacked or kidnapped, so avoid going to the grocery store alone or when it’s late in the day. Take your partner with you, or a friend or family member. If you must go alone, invest in pepper spray or keep your keys in your hand for easy access. Park as close to the store as you can, and ask for help carrying your groceries out to your car from a store employee.
- Something not many of us do is to lock the car while driving. If you find yourself at a red light in the wrong place at the wrong time, a potential attacker can hop in within seconds. Locking the car doors should become part of your routine upon entering your car. Check your mirrors, put on your seat belt, lock the doors, and start the engine.
- If you are driving or walking and have noticed someone on your tracks, don’t go home. Instead go to the nearest location where someone who you trust lives and notify them of your suspicion. This is a big one if you live alone, since you don’t want to lead a possible attacker to your home.
- Avoid going alone to places where there aren’t many people or lighting is sparse. Dark alleys, empty streets, secluded restaurants, empty parking lots. Attackers are less likely to act if there are people around who can witness and help stop their crime. If you are sure someone is following you, calculate the distance of a safety location for you to run to before you take off. If you aren’t in the best shape to outrun a possible attack, remember the most vulnerable spots on a human body: throat, groin, and eyes.
- If you are at a party or bar, never accept drinks from strangers. If you leave your drink unattended, don’t resume to drinking it; it takes a split second for someone to drop something in it and easily take you away.
It would be much easier to avoid being attacked or assaulted, if we lived in a perfect world where people were taught to respect and protect each other. But unfortunately, we don’t. We live in a world were kidnaps, sex trafficking, rapes and killings are constantly happening to girls and women worldwide; so our best bet is to learn self-defense and never allow ourselves to be seen as a target. For more information, news and ways you can help prevent and end violence against women check out these sites: Say No- Unite to End Violence Against Women , United Nations Unite to End Violence against Women and One Billion Rising.