Women are said to be the more vulnerable gender, but they can choose not to be by standing up and protecting themselves.
Harassers, assaulters, rapists, and anyone in between or worse than that – these are the dangers that lurk in dark alleys and in dangerous neighborhoods. One can never know when these monsters will strike, traumatize you, or worse, take the life out of you.
It’s a dangerous world out there. That fact is more evident in women who are frequently targeted than men. According to the study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are almost two million women who are assaulted physically in a year. About 25% of women in America will report cases of sexual harassment or rape at one point in their lives. According to Joni E. Johnston, Psy.D, “It’s not just a woman’s problem. Women continue to be the primary victims of sexual harassment, and they are carrying the burden of suffering. Until males own their responsibility in the problem, it’s going to be really tough to get a big movement in addressing it.”
Sadly, the majority of women chose to stay silent upon experiencing sexual assault. This means that the numbers that were mentioned above may just be a fraction of crimes committed against women. “The most important thing a person needs to realize if they are the victim of sexual abuse is that it is not your fault,” said John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
Needless to say, it’s high time to become more resistant to any forms of danger. Being a woman prone to be involved in precarious situations, being street smart is paramount.
Do not go down without a fight and become another statistic.
According to crime specialists, there are precautionary measures that women can do when faced with a predator.
- Stay alert.
Study your surroundings. By being quickly familiar with your environment, you can find your way around if something happens. Plugging your ears with headphones while listening to your ear-slamming tunes or using your mobile phone while walking down the street makes you an easy target. Not only are you not aware of what’s happening but it distracts you from the movements behind your back.
- Travel light.
Any heavy item that you carry serves as a burden especially if you decided to just run away from the scene. However, light items like shoulder bags can serve as a weapon to smack the predator’s face with. Bags with shoulder straps or backpacks, those that don’t require the usage of hands to carry, are advised. This increases your defensive mode.
- Be adamant.
Whatever you do, do not let your guard down. When we are having so much fun, we tend to become complacent with our surroundings. It doesn’t matter if your friends will tell you how paranoid or suspicious you are. People with bad intentions often attack when you are having fun or when they’ve noticed how susceptible you are. If you’re walking to a dark parking lot and you saw someone suspicious near your car, it’s best to go back and ask security to walk with you. Always walk in well-lit areas.
4.Dress like you mean it.
Business attires like pencil-cut skirts, high heels, constrictive clothing, are not suitable for running or fighting. Necklaces and scarves can be grabbed easily. Keep in mind that when you are walking alone, find time to change into something comfortable like pants, sneakers, and shirts. This may take time but it’s time well-spent.
- Look them in the eye.
Upon encountering a stranger, the usual thing that women do is to look far away as possible for the reason that it may ignite something negative. However, it is advised that when walking, and someone is looking at you, look back at the person. Stare him straight into the eyes for the purpose of identifying them clearly. Attackers hesitate when they realize that their victims will be able to pinpoint them easily.
- Change your path.
Predators study their prey. Before attacking, they would follow them around or put timestamps on every movement they take; which is why attackers know when their prey is at their most vulnerable state. Confuse them by taking another route. Quit the routine. Make sure that along with these routes, there are safe places that you can run to just in case of an attack.
- Carry around inconspicuous weapons.
Always, always have something in your hands when you’re walking down the street like your keys or a pen or something pointed that you can use if the situation calls for it. Pepper sprays are seldom helpful for it may also harm the victim especially if she has no idea how to use it.
When all of these didn’t work and you found yourself helplessly trapped in a treacherous situation, reacting immediately is important. “Criminals look for easy targets,” says Sherry Hamby Ph.D.
- Even if the attacker has a weapon, run. Just keep running and don’t look back until you reached a place where you can ask for help.
- Stay where you are. If the predator forced you to go with him, don’t. Be as stubborn as you can. Scream. Ask for help, make some noise.
- If the attacker still insists on touching you, be on the offensive and attack him directly where it would hurt like the groin, throat, eyes, and knees. These areas are very vulnerable to blunt force trauma. Make sure your attack is a calculated one for it is an assurance that the predator will have a counter attack. Let your first attack be the last one that it debilitates the attacker, giving you time to escape and ask for help.
Still, if all else fails, you can do things that can cause a scene or an accident just to catch attention. Furthermore, if you were ever kidnapped and were tossed in the trunk, kick the tail lights then poke your hand out the hole, waving as wildly as possible.