Always be aware of your environment. Know where the exits and windows are in every room, building, airplane or home. Know where the light switches, elevators and stairwells are in your building.
I arrive early when I have an appointment and I take a tour of the area. It in only takes a few minutes to tour your environment. You don't want to guess when you are in danger. Know these important escape routes in the places you spend your time. Look for the fire extinguishers, telephones, and nearby offices. Whereever you are there are objects you may use for your defense, if attacked. Coffee pots, purses/books, pens/pencils, car keys, and any other object you may find.
A woman's voice is her most powerful asset. By using your voice, you will be able to assert your power. Your power is your ability to articulate your needs, fears, limitations and when something does not feel right. Your voice gives you options. You can scream, ask for help, scare someone and defend yourself. If you are silent, you are not heard. It is important to say what you are feeling and what you want to happen.
Practice saying no in a variety of ways. Whisper no, scream no, yell no, and any other way that feels comfortable for you. Learn to say no like you mean it. Repeat the word "No," until you find your words, your voice, your actions and your body are in complete alignment. Your whole body should be saying no. This also eliminates mixed messages. When you say "NO!", mean it. There are many ways to say "No,", No Way!", "Not happening,", "No, thank you!", "Nope", "Never!" and many more.
These bad feelings have many names, instincts, gut feelings, intuition vibes or sixth sense. These feelings keep you safe when you obey them. They are an internal warning device. Each person has instincts. Your ability to hear them and obey them increases with awareness.
Your instincts are one of the most powerful tools of crime prevention. There are many names for instincts, gut feelings, intuition, vibes or sixth sense. If something, some place or someone feels wrong obey your instincts. If you are at a party and get bad vibes or dread in your stomach, pay attention. These feelings are here to protect you. Sometimes people worry about feeling foolish. It is okay to appear as foolish, over cautious or to be wrong, than to be in danger. Trust your instincts to tell you if a situation is wrong for you, or when or to call the police.
Many of my clients often regret not listening to their intuition in dangerous situations. Have an instinct buddy. A person with whom you make a pact with to obey your instincts with, when you are out in public. Having an instinct buddy will give you the courage to obey your instincts. Make a pact that you will obey each other's instincts. Your safety and security is in the best interest of everyone.
Carry your keys in your hands as you walk to your vehicle or house. Keeping them in your purse or pocket won't help you if you are attacked. Slide the keys from your palm outward. Hold your keys so that the pointy parts are sticking out from your fingers, and then make a fist around the ring or chain. If someone attempts to attack you from behind immediately reach over your shoulder and gab and scratch with your keys which have become a weapon. A key to the eyeball will tend to slow down any criminal. Make sure that you have the key you need to unlock the door affixed between your first and second fingers – not the thumb and forefinger as is traditional. Holding the key in this fashion will still permit you to unlock the door but also provides enough strength to cause a little bit of hurt in the event you need it.
Don't park next to a van. We've all seen the emails warning about this. Generally we all take the closest parking space we can find without regard to what type of vehicle is parked next to us. Odds are favorable the minivan belongs to a soccer mom and it is perfectly harmless. But don't get complacent. Be alert and be vigilant. Vans can also block the view of any wrong doing. It'd be easy for someone to slip out of the van and cause you harm.
What happens if you return to your vehicle to find a van parked next to you? Enter from the passenger side. So what if it looks odd that you are getting in on that side? You wouldn't be the first person with a driver's side door that was inoperable. So what if it is inconvenient to climb over the console? Isn't it better to be alive and inconvenienced?
If you are approached from behind, in bear hug fashion here are a number of techniques you can quickly deploy to get away from an attacker. Stomp on his foot, but on the way down make sure you slide your foot along side his shin bone. Feel your own shin – there isn't much there except a thin layer of skin and bone … and a lot of nerves. It will definitely hurt to slide the sole of your shoe along this bone, and then stomp with all your vigor on the perpetrator's foot. To add icing to this special treat, put all your weight on your heel and grind the stomp in even more.
A head butt is going to smart a little too. If someone is grabbing you from behind immediately throw your head back into his forehead. The bad guy will see stars for a minute and possibly give you an opportunity to run away. Lastly if opportunity presents itself, throw your pointy elbows back with all your might into his solar plexus. Bring your arms forward toward your own face to gain momentum and then thrust your pointed daggers back into his sides with every ounce of strength you can muster. Then run!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|