So my main purpose in writing this blog is to give women tips that don’t require them to do much more than think in a different way about their safety. While I encourage self defense training and looking into concealed carry, those options are for you to explore, and I only have a few minutes of your attention each day to tell you whatever I can that may help.
A couple of thoughts on mental defense, by which I mean ways to stay safe through intelligence. Knowledge is power, and all that, so knowing a few new things about escaping predators should empower you.
1. Confidence. Attackers look for women who look like they won’t fight back, women who look away nervously and act afraid. If someone is being odd and creepy, make eye contact and glare. This is no time to be polite, and try to avoid hurting feelings. Trust your instincts. If someone is following you, don’t shyly shuffle forward hoping you are wrong. Turn around and face them, and let them pass. If they are a normal person, they’ll probably give you an odd look and go on ahead, but if they are a bad person, it’s better to show them up front you have noticed them. They may decide you’re not a good mark and move on, or they may attack, but either way is better than you allowing them to follow you until you are somewhere secluded enough that they feel safe attacking you on their terms. I was once on a date and we sensed we were being followed. My date, nervous, sped up and started towards the parking garage. I turned around to face the man. If there was a confrontation, I wanted to happen out on the street, not in a dark garage. As it happened I startled him and he walked off mumbling. You never know, but I would rather have someone look at me odd than bet that nothing would have happened. Plus when you turn around and face them without fear they think “why isn’t she scared, what does she know that I don’t” and that throws them off.
2. Fitness. This sounds more like physical than mental defense, but it takes some thought to put together. Other than learning self defense something that will really help you is working out. 1. It makes you faster, stronger, and better able to fight off an attacker and escape. But more than that, it gives you confidence, and confidence also deters attackers. Double whammy. So work on cardio for running and weight training for strength and muscle endurance.
3. Be smart. First this entails being careful about where you go in the first place. If there is a dark area that you have to walk through, keep your cell phone handy, or even pretend to be talking to someone on it, it will give the impression you are less alone, and an attacker will think you have someone that will hear if anything happens. Yes, I thought that one up with my own paranoia. Once I had someone following me and I made sure to say over the phone to my friend “I’m so glad I learned a dozen ways to maim the genitalia of a man twice my size.” He disappeared. Yeah it sounds funny and in retrospect it was, but being followed is scary, however you cut it. Also keep your mace or keys handy if you are being followed and about to turn around and start a confrontation. But even better is avoiding dark areas alone. Period. Nothing is worth that late night trip. Even if you are driving, you will be getting out of the car at one point, right?
See? There are things you can do just to trick an attacker into thinking your dangerous, or in my case above, to let them KNOW you are dangerous. I’m sure if you think about it you can come up with more as well. If you do, please share them below.
Thanks, and stay safe and protect yourself damsels.