Women's Safety: Test your knowledge with these 7 scenarios
By Madison F
You are driving home late at night. A car seems to be following, but you shrug it off telling yourself you are simply being paranoid. You make several turns as you get closer to your home. You look in the rear view mirror and the car is still right behind you. A chill runs up your spine.
So What Do You Do?
Don't make yourself an easy target: Attackers will often try to find the easiest target. Be alert and put your phone down when walking through parking lots. Walk confidently, have strong body language, and make eye contact. Take advantage of your peripheral vision as attackers won't always be right in front of you. "If a women feels threatened, she should lower her center of gravity, stand with her feet apart and knees slightly bent, and say 'no' or 'back off.'"
Lock your car door: Whether you are driving or simply sitting in a parking lot, make sure your car door is locked. Otherwise a stranger can simply come over, open the door, and threaten you.
What Do You Do if You Are in One of These Situations?
Scenario 1: A man has a gun pointed at you and is telling you to get into his car. You might be tempted to get in but DON'T. The attacker most likely doesn't want to shoot you, but will drive you to a seclusive location and torture you. Your best chance is to run while screaming loudly for help. The attacker will most likely move on to an easier target.
Scenario 2: You are driving down a road, and a man drives next to you pointing at your car like something is wrong. You might be tempted to pull over but DON'T. Drive to a gas station or some other well-lit busy place before seeing if there really is something wrong with the car.
Scenario 3: There is a knock on your front door. You look through the peep hole, but don't see anything. DON'T open the door. Positively identify who it is first. NEVER let an attacker into your home.
Scenario 4: A clean cut honest looking man comes up to you in the parking lot of the grocery store, and offers to help you with your bags. DON'T let him. Not every attacker will look the part. Many attackers will actually look like a nice honest trustworthy guy, but they are not. An attacker can be any age or any gender.
Scenario 5: You are leaving the store and you get a text. You might be tempted to pull out your phone but DON'T. When in a parking lot, make sure you are alert. An attacker will want an easy target. Check your phone once you have gotten in your car AND locked the doors. Before entering your car, glance in the back seat to ensure no attacker is hiding in your car.
Scenario 7: You are running late and your trusted babysitter has just canceled. You don't know your neighbor well, but you are in a hurry. You are tempted to ask them to watch your child, as they have offered in the past, but DON'T. Only leave your child with someone that you truly trust. "This is a difficult one, because child molesters end up being the LAST person the parents would believe is the molester. Most of the child molesting cases I see involve the stepfather, the uncle, the sister's boyfriend, the mother's boyfriend, the grandfather, the baby-sitter, the neighbor, the family friend, the youth camp director, day care worker, etc. Although rare, even women can be molesters. In every case, the perpetrator is a nice guy, trusting, good with children, and the family is baffled or even in disbelief that the person could be abusing their child." The best thing you can do is be aware of your child, and how they react to different people in their life. Find someone that they trust to watch them.
Know How to Fight
Know your strengths and limitations: Your attacker might be bigger and stronger than you, but you can still escape. You have strengths that your attacker won't. If you have never tried karate, then that doesn't mean that you will suddenly be able to beat someone with your karate moves. Instead learn what you are good at, and implement this if you are ever being attacked.
Know the situation/attack: Depending on the type of attack, you will want to react differently. Knowing the motives is important when an attack is occurring.
- Robbery: It is better to give them your wallet than your life, so you will want to comply with the attacker, and try your best not to be nervous. Let the attacker know step-by-step what you are doing, so you don't scare them into acting out. Attackers tend to be nervous themselves when they are committing a robbery.
- Physical Assault: These attackers want to instill fear in their victim. They will tend to go after people who look like they lack confidence and appear to be easy targets. If you are being attacked, resist the attack and ensure that your first hit is the hardest you can muster. "Humans tend to hold back on their first strike to sort of 'test the water' for a response from the opponent. Hitting hard on your first attempt adds one more unexpected element to your attacker’s plans, and may even give him the impression that you were holding back and the next hit will be even harder."
- Road Rage: Stay calm, slow down your car and maintain that slow speed, maintain distance, make it obvious to the attacker that you are taking down their information (even if you are just pretending), if you feel like you are in danger pull out your phone and call for help, do NOT drive home, and avoid barriers that will block you from making an escape.
Here is a video we liked showing some techniques that you can use to fight off an attacker.