The nation has experienced an unprecedented amount of media coverage on crimes against women in this country. It’s been happening for years and year, but now… Well now, everyone knows.
It’s traumatic, it’s scary, and it’s unacceptable. While whole communities, businesses, and individuals are coming together to take a stand against this threat and bring change, there are many people who are too fearful to carry on with their lives. To be specific, there are lots of women who are too scared to continue with their usual routines. We don’t want to discount men who have every right to be worried about their own safety, but at the moment we are (quite rightfully) focusing on safety precautions that women can take to be safe.
Here are a few practical safety precautions to keep you safer out in public.
Travel in packs
Unfortunately, travelling alone is no longer your safest bet when it comes to going out and about. Especially at night. That’s why it’s best to arrange to have some company for the road, like organising a car pool to after-hours social events and work.
Pepper spray is an effective personal safety device that you can keep in your handbag or in your car to use when you’re being harassed. The key is to keep a secure grip on the cannister. Use your thumb instead of your index finger to wrap your 4 fingers and palm around the pepper spray to form a tight grip.
Park in sight
For obvious reasons, you should avoid parking your car around the corner or out of sight. We strongly urge you to use paid parking whenever possible. Don’t forget that you can ask a security guard (someone paid by the centre to be there) to walk you to your car.
Don’t drop and go
If you’re the 1 responsible for dropping off friends or family at their destinations, don’t just drop and go… Rather keep your engine idling and watch them go inside safely before leaving. And don’t be shy about asking other drivers to do the same for you.
Go inside a shop
Sometimes when you walk to your destination or car, you get this feeling that you’re being followed or that the people around you don’t have the best intentions. Don’t shake the feeling off and ignore it. Rather go inside the nearest shop, café, or even medical practice. You’ll feel a lot better being around other people that you know don’t have any intention of hurting you. From there you can see if the suspicious characters have gone away or you can call a family member or friend to come pick you up.
A flat tyre
Suppose you return to your car and it has a flat tire. If that’s the case, turn around and go back to wherever you came from and call for help. We suggest you contact your car insurer’s roadside assist service and once they’ve arrived, you can approach your car. Oh, and if someone offers help, just politely send them on their way. You’ve got official help coming and it’s not worth the risk.
Keep your address private
Don’t publicise your address online and don’t announce it loudly for all to hear when these details are requested. It’s easy to forget, especially when someone like your pharmacist asks you to confirm your home address, but in those instances make sure that you whisper it to them.
It’s nice to be helpful, but if someone asks you to show you the way to their destination, be on alert. It could be a way to get you to follow them somewhere less crowded. Use your hands to point them in the right direction. And if you’re in need of directions, you can likewise ask them to point you in the right direction.
Let’s say that you’re already in a bad position. Someone is actually chasing you. Use your adrenaline to run away with everything inside of you and as you go make sure to run away in a zig zag pattern, because this will exhaust your attacker.
The sad fact is that crime is a reality and it’s up to us to do what we can to protect ourselves from the threat of danger. We hope that these tips help you stay safe and we urge you to share this info with family and friends so that they can also keep themselves safe.